Mapping the distributive environmental justice of urban waters


  • Arto Viinikka Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE)
  • Riikka Paloniemi
  • Timo Assmuth


In this paper, we identify patterns of distributive environmental justice in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area (HMA) in terms of spatial proximity of urban waters, as a potential provider of a diverse set of environmental goods and well-being. Our focus is on the question how equally these benefits are distributed in HMA? To answer this we apply a GIS-based clustering analysis with spatial statistics to map the good and deprived access of different socio-economic and demographic groups to urban blue. We use income, education, language and age as factors to delineate residential areas and found not only differences in how various population groups are located in the four different municipalities of the HMA, but also differences in group distances to the nearest water areas. Results show that high income and high educational background, Swedish language and high age are factors more frequently related to living closer to water areas. At the same time, children, foreigners, and people having lower economic status tend to live further away from urban blue. This is important knowledge to be integrated into urban planning. The recognition of lacking opportunities suggests more consideration towards these aforementioned population groups to reduce inequality and to ensure just distribution of accessible and usable urban nature in the HMA.

Research Papers



How to Cite

Viinikka, A., Paloniemi, R., & Assmuth, T. (2018). Mapping the distributive environmental justice of urban waters. Fennia - International Journal of Geography, 196(1), 9–23.