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The Buzz About Restoring Mother Nature at the Urban Core

  • Beth Ann Fiedler
Chapter

Abstract

The environmental justice approach to restoring the urban core envelopes the needs of minorities, including Native American Indians and indigenous peoples, and low-income populations with these and other problematic socioeconomic conditions that impact public health. This chapter provides an overview of existing environmental regulation in the United States indicating two primary objectives: (1) to protect environmental and population health and (2) to identify and remediate the adverse effects of various enacted legislation and programs on minority and low-income populations. This chapter suggests best practices identified in transitioning urban ecosystems in the metropolitan District of Columbia encompassing the area surrounding the United States national capitol. Further recommendations suggest that including the provisions of the Clinton Administration Executive Order 12898 stipulating federal actions to address environmental justice in minority and low-income populations in all policy as intended can improve upon current health and income disparities.

Keywords

Ecosystem services Ecological restoration Urban restoration Conservation planning Regenerative design Environmental justice Urban health 

Notes

Glossary

Biomass

Release of carbon by burning wood and other organic matter as fuel

Brownfield development

Repurposed land in the U.S. previously used for industrial/commercial business with poor soil, potentially hazardous soil and other natural resource conditions, and environmental pollutants

Conservation planning

The record of decisions and supporting information for treatment of a unit of land meeting planning criteria for one or more identified natural resource concerns because of the planning process; the plan describes the schedule of implementation for practices and activities needed to solve identified natural resource concerns and takes advantage of opportunities (USDA n.d., para 1)

Cultural services

One of several ecosystem services; often referred to as the nonmaterial or aesthetic benefits derived from surrounding culture, a sense of belonging, or ethereal experience from nature (FAO 2017)

Microclimate regulation

One of several ecosystem services; a variance in temperature and humidity experienced locally when compared to surrounding areas such as a city compared to neighboring suburbs

Minorities

Smaller sector of a larger group; the smaller portion of Native Americans, Hispanics, and African Americans in the U.S. population compared to Caucasians

Nutrient cycling

An ecosystem process in which biological, chemical, and geological activity in the environment help to recycle elements essential to life such as carbon, hydrogen, calcium, phosphorus, and nitrogen

Regenerative design

Instead of just restoring damage, this approach focuses on improving environmental conditions to promote nutrient cycling and other ecosystem services that support life

Soil formation

Several factors contribute to soil formation including the breakdown of rock (parent material) over time, climatic conditions, various organisms, and area landscape; also known as pedogenesis

Urban ecosystem

The interaction of various elements within a densely populated area such as a city or large metropolitan area (https://www.britannica.com/science/urban-ecosystem)

Water infiltration

One of several ecosystem services; process where rain or melting snow moves through gaps and other shallow openings in top soil to provide moisture or through sediment to replenish groundwater sources

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Beth Ann Fiedler
    • 1
  1. 1.Independent Research AnalystJacksonvilleUSA

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