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Utilizing an EJ lens and earth science data to enhance greenspace Equity, Exposure, and Experience

This project aims to follow participatory data collection and assessment processes to examine equity and environmental justice (EEJ) landscapes by analyzing one core issue environmental justice (EJ) and underserved urban communities face: greenspace access. In order to better understand greenspace access in EJ communities, we aim to examine three significant topics that need further research: (i) Equity—if greenspaces are equitably distributed in a community by offering easy walking access from residential parcels to nearby greenspaces in disadvantaged neighborhoods; (ii) Exposure—if users have green exposure while walking on their way to nearby greenspaces; and (iii) Experience—if users experience spatial quality and green elements (e.g., land cover, tree types) while enjoying the greenspaces. Additionally, we aim to explore the ways that NASA, through their data and organizational involvement, could support EJ communities in analyzing and addressing these topics. Geographically, we will focus on the state of New Jersey, and more specifically two EJ communities within the state—the City of Camden and Jersey City.

Rowan University was awarded a $100,000 grant from NASA under the Earth Science Applications: Equity and Environmental Justice (EEJ) program.



Jersey City

New Jersey

Project Team

Mahbubur Meenar, Ph.D. (Principal Investigator, Rowan University) 

Md Shahinoor Rahman, Ph.D. (Co-Investigator/Institutional PI, New Jersey City University)

Deepti Adlakha, Ph.D. (Co-Investigator/Institutional PI, North Carolina State University)

Ted Howell, Ph.D. (Co-Investigator, Rowan University)

Research Collaborators

S. M. Labib, Ph.D. (Utrecht University, Nederlands)

Chris Tirri and NJ Map (Rowan University)

Leaf Pattern Design
Major Tasks

Conduct an online survey of designated EJ communities in New Jersey to identify how NASA can best support local community decision-making processes relating to EEJ and greenspace issues by contributing earth science information to those processes

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Focus Groups

Conduct focus groups to understand public perceptions of greenspace equity, exposure, and experience and identify opportunities for NASA activities and data support to address EEJ by focusing on a sample EEJ landscape analysis related to greenspaces in Camden and Jersey City, NJ

Use earth science data to examine greenspace equity, exposure, and experience in EJ communities to minimize gaps that may exist in EJ communities’ use of earth science resources and compare findings from two NJ cities

Greenspace equity
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Greenspace Equity

Greenspace exposure
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Greenspace Exposure

Greenspace experience
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Greenspace Experience

Examine greenspace equity to determine equitable access to greenspaces

Examine greenspace exposure by determining eye-level greenness along sidewalks connecting residences to greenspace locations

Examine greenspace experience to determine spatial quality and availability of green elements

Features and Blog Posts
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