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College of Built Environments’ David de la Cruz partners with communities for environmental justice

Published on September 8, 2017

environmental education trip in collaboration with Pueblo Del Rio's Resident Advisory Council.
Image Credit: David de la Cruz

David de la Cruz has a question about power. “When we think about toxic sites and where they’re placed in relation to where people live, who’s left out of making those decisions?” “Often,” he answers, “it’s the people who live there. It’s low-income communities, working-class communities and communities of color who don’t have a say. They’re the ones who have to deal with the consequences of living close to a grain mill facility that constantly sees truck traffic, or living close to a yard that has trains passing back and forth.”

And while these communities have some autonomy, he says, people are moving into areas that are already extensively polluted. There’s often no decision to be made — pollution is part of the package. Where you live affects how you live.

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