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Open spaces, City planning, COVID-19 Pandemic (2020- ), Geographic information systems


As the United States leads COVID-19 cases on global charts, its spatial distribution pattern offers a unique opportunity for studying the social and ecological factors that contribute to the pandemic’s scale and size. We use a GIS-data-based approach to evaluate four American cities—Anchorage (Alaska), Atlanta (Georgia), Phoenix (Arizona), and Portland (Oregon) characterized by the significant composition of different racial and ethnic group populations. Building upon previous studies that investigated urban spatial inequalities using the environmental justice framework, we examine: (1) the relative racial vulnerability of Census Block Groups (CBG) and ZIP Code Tabulation Areas (ZCTA) to COVID-19 (2) green space distribution at CBG and ZCTA scale. Using standard normalization methods, we ranked racial vulnerability against % available green space for each city. Our results highlight the legacy of past and present urban planning injustices. The project is useful from environmental justice, public health management, and urban planning perspectives.


The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature B.V. 2021

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