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The environmental justice movement emerged over 20 years ago, but only recently have planners, environmental advocates and community organizers begun exploring the connections between greenway planning and environmental justice. Projects like the South Bronx Greenway are driven by environmental justice perspectives, conferences like the New York City Greenway Summit are convening communities interested in the topic, and books like Designing Greenways are extolling environmental justice as one of the key benefits of greenway planning (Transportation Alternatives, 2007; Hellmund and Smith, 2006). Despite this recent interest, published theories and perspectives on how environmental justice can inform greenway planning are lacking.

This paper reviews the current literature on environmental justice and public space, and evaluates how an environmental justice perspective can be applied to greenway planning. A case study of the planning and design process for the East Bay Greenway Concept Plan, a proposed 12-mile greenway in Alameda County, California, illustrates the benefits and challenges of incorporating an environmental justice perspective into greenway design and planning.



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