Social Justice and Sustainability Efforts in the U.S.-Mexico Transborder Region

  • Sylvia Gonzalez-Gorman
Part of the World Sustainability Series book series (WSUSE)


The 1983 La Paz Agreement originally defined the U.S.-Mexico transborder region as 62.15 miles (100 km) on each side of the international border. The La Paz Agreement between the U.S. and Mexico created the first bilateral cooperation program on issues of environmental quality along the U.S.-Mexico border. Prior to La Paz, cities throughout the U.S. adopted and have continued to adopt various sustainability policies to address environmental concerns. However, in the U.S.-Mexico transborder region where cities are fundamentally unique from communities in the interior United States, local sustainability policies and issues of environmental social justice are still in their infancy and deficient environmental conditions continue to exist in some border areas. While sustainability and social justice are two important goals for city governments, harmonizing both values is challenging due to their conflicting policy natures. This study examines if transborder cities pursue social justice and sustainability simultaneously despite the challenge of balancing nebulous goals. This study focuses on factors that influence different levels of environmental sustainability measured by greenhouse gas (GHG) amounts among transborder communities. The results indicate that U.S. transborder cities with densely populated areas and the geographical size of the community contribute to higher levels of GHG emissions and less equitable sustainability.


Transborder region Sustainability Social justice 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Political ScienceUniversity of Texas Rio Grande ValleyBrownsvilleUSA

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