Environmental (in)equity in the Netherlands - A case study on the distribution of environmental quality in the Rijnmond region

27-09-2004 | Publication

As a part of a broader investigation on environmental inequity in the Netherlands, an exploratory case study on the socio-economic distribution on (perceived) environmental quality was carried out in the Rijnmond (industrial and urbanised) region in the western part of the Netherlands.

Disparities in local environmental quality with respect to noise, air pollution, availability of public green areas, safety risks, and presence of waste disposal sites, were analysed separately and accumulatively across income levels making use of postal codes. Inhabitants' perception of environmental quality with respect to spatial and income differences was also ascertained and analysed. Recent, available national and regional databases and literature were used for the analyses. Disparities in local environmental quality were found to be linked to income level, especially for air pollution and the availability of public green areas. In addition, accumulation of environmental 'goods' (high-quality environmental conditions) were found more often in high-income than in low-income areas. Inhabitants of Rotterdam also mentioned littering and dog mess to be the greatest environmental problem. All income categories experienced annoyance, but from different, often area-specific sources. Considering these results, policy-makers are advised to take the effects of their policy on different income categories into account.