Town Planning Review

Introducing environmental-justice analysis into urban planning practices in the city of Bottrop, Germany

Town Planning Review Ahead of print, 1–24.


An analysis of the provision and accessibility of urban green infrastructure was carried out and combined with the spatial exposure of social-welfare recipients to noise, air pollution and weather extremes in the city of Bottrop, Germany. We found out that social-welfare recipients tend to live in areas where the exposure to multiple environmental burdens is higher compared to other statistical districts in the city. Ultimately, there is a real impact of our conceived indicators, since they were integrated into an obligatory ‘sustainability check’, which was adopted by the city assembly of Bottrop in June 2020.

Access Token
If you have private access to this content, please log in with your username and password here


AGGER, A. (2012), ‘Towards tailor-made participation: how to involve different types of citizens in participatory governance’, Town Planning Review, 83, 29-45. Google Scholar

AGYEMAN, J. and EVANS, B. (2004), ‘“Just sustainability”: the emerging discourse of environmental justice in Britain?’, Geographical Journal, 170, 155-64. Google Scholar

ALI, A. (2001), A Conceptual Framework for Environmental Justice Based on Shared but Differentiated Responsibilities (CSERGE working paper EDM, No. 01-02), Norwich, University of East Anglia, Centre for Social and Economic Research on the Global Environment (CSERGE). Google Scholar

BACH, C., BIRKMANN, J., KROPP, J., OLONSCHECK, M., SETIADI, N., VOLLMER, M. and WALTHER, C. (2014), Assessing Vulnerability to Heat Waves and Heavy Rainfall at a Community Level, (accessed 26 April 2021). Google Scholar

BMU (FEDERAL MINISTRY FOR THE ENVIRONMENT, NATURE CONSERVATION AND NUCLEAR SAFETY) (2016), Umweltgerechtigkeit in der Sozialen Stadt: Gute Praxis an der Schnittstelle von Umwelt, Gesundheit und sozialer Lage, (accessed 26 March 2020). Google Scholar

BÖHME, C., PREUSS, T., BUNZEL, A., REIMANN, B., SEIDEL-SCHULZE, A. and LANDUA, D. (2015), Umweltgerechtigkeit im städtischen Raum: Entwicklung von praxistauglichen Strategien und Maßnahmen zur Minderung sozial ungleich verteilter Umweltbelastungen, Umwelt & Gesundheit, 01/2015, (accessed 21 June 2021). Google Scholar

BRULLE, R. J. and PELLOW, D. N. (2006), ‘Environmental justice: human health and environmental inequalities’, Annual review of Public Health, 27, 103-24. Google Scholar

CANIGLIA, B. S. and FRANK, B. (2017), ‘Revealing the resilience infrastructure of cities: preventing environmental injustices-in-waiting’, in B. S. Caniglia, M. Vallée and B. F. Frank (eds), Resilience, Environmental Justice and the City, Abingdon, Oxon and New York, Routledge, 57-75. Google Scholar

CANIGLIA, B. S., VALLÉE, M. and FRANK, B. F. (2017), Resilience, Environmental Justice and the City, Abingdon, Oxon and New York, Routledge. Google Scholar

CITY OF BOTTROP (2016a), Leitprojekt InnovationCity, (accessed 29 October 2020). Google Scholar

CITY OF BOTTROP (2016b), Zukunftsstadt 2030+, (accessed 29 October 2020). Google Scholar

COLE, L. W. and FOSTER, S. R. (2001), From the Ground Up: Environmental Racism and the Rise of the Environmental Justice Movement, New York, New York University Press. Google Scholar

DAVOUDI, S. and BROOKS, E. (2014), ‘When does unequal become unfair? Judging claims of environmental injustice’, Environment and Planning A: Economy and Space, 46, 2686-702. Google Scholar

DESWAL, M. and LAURA, J. S. (2018), ‘GIS based modeling using Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) for optimization of landfill site selection of Rohtak city, Haryana (India)’, Journal of Applied and Natural Science, 10, 633-42. Google Scholar

DIRECTIVE 2002/49/EC, Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council Relating to the Assessment and Management of Environmental Noise. Google Scholar

ELVERS, H.-D. (2005), Umweltgerechtigkeit (Environmental Justice): Integratives Paradigma der Gesundheits- und Sozialwissenschaften? (UFZ Discussion Paper No. 14/2005), Leipzig, UFZ-Umweltforschungszentrum Leipzig-Halle. Google Scholar

FAIRBURN, J., MAIER, W. and BRAUBACH, M. (2016), ‘Incorporating environmental justice into second generation indices of multiple deprivation: lessons from the UK and progress internationally’, International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 13, Google Scholar

FEDERAL BUILDING CODE (2017), Baugesetzbuch (BauGB) in der Fassung der Bekanntmachung vom 3. November 2017 (BGBl. I S. 3634), das durch Artikel 6 des Gesetzes vom 27. März 2020 (BGBl. I S. 587) geändert worden ist. Google Scholar

FLACKE, J. and KÖCKLER, H. (2015), ‘Spatial urban health equity indicators: a framework-based approach supporting spatial decision making’, Sustainable Development and Planning VII, 7, 365-76. Google Scholar

FLACKE, J., SCHÜLE, S. A., KÖCKLER, H. and BOLTE, G. (2016), ‘Mapping environmental inequalities relevant for health for informing urban planning interventions: a case study in the city of Dortmund, Germany’, International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 13, Google Scholar

FORSYTH, T. (2014), ‘Climate justice is not just ice’, Geoforum, 54, 230-32. Google Scholar

FOUDI, S., OSÉS-ERASO, N. and TAMAYO, I. (2015), ‘Integrated spatial flood risk assessment: the case of Zaragoza’, Land Use Policy, 42, 278-92. Google Scholar

FRASER, N. (1997), Justice Interruptus: Critical Reflections on the ‘Postsocialist’ Condition, Abingdon and New York, Routledge. Google Scholar

GLATTER-GÖTZ, H., MOHAI, P., HAAS, W. and PLUTZAR, C. (2019), ‘Environmental inequality in Austria: do inhabitants’ socioeconomic characteristics differ depending on their proximity to industrial polluters?’, Environmental Research Letters, 14, 74007, Google Scholar

GUERREIRO, C., GONZÁLEZ ORTIZ, A., LEEUW, F. D., VIANA, M. and COLETTE, A. (2018), Air Quality in Europe: 2018 Report, Luxembourg, Publications Office of the European Union. Google Scholar

HEYNEN, N., PERKINS, H. A. and ROY, P. (2006), ‘The political ecology of uneven urban green space’, Urban Affairs Review, 42, 3-25. Google Scholar

HORNBERG, C., BUNGE, C. and PAULI, A. (2011), Strategien für mehr Umweltgerechtigkeit, Bielefeld, Handlungsfelder für Forschung, Politik und Praxis (Laurenti-Verl.). Google Scholar

JELINSKI, D. E. and WU, J. (1996), ‘The modifiable areal unit problem and implications for landscape ecology’, Landscape Ecology, 11, 129-40. Google Scholar

KADDOURA, I., KRÖGER, L. and NAGEL, K. (2017), ‘An activity-based and dynamic approach to calculate road traffic noise damages’, Transportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment, 54, 335-47. Google Scholar

KNOX, J. H. and PEJAN, R. (2018), The Human Right to a Healthy Environment, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press. Google Scholar

KOHLHUBER, M., MIELCK, A., WEILAND, S. K. and BOLTE, G. (2006), ‘Social inequality in perceived environmental exposures in relation to housing conditions in Germany’, Environmental Research, 101, 246-55. Google Scholar

KUEHN, R. R. (2000), A Taxonomy of Environmental Justice, Aboriginal Policy Research Consortium International (APRCi), Environmental Law Reporter, 30, 10681-703. Google Scholar

LAKES, T., BRÜCKNER, M. and KRÄMER, A. (2014), ‘Development of an environmental justice index to determine socio-economic disparities of noise pollution and green space in residential areas in Berlin’, Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, 57, 538-56. Google Scholar

LOMBA, C., HERNANTES, J. and LABAKA, L. (2019), ‘Guide for climate-resilient cities: an urban critical infrastructures approach’, Sustainability, 11, 4727, Google Scholar

MAANTAY, J. A. and MAROKO, A. R. (2018), ‘Brownfields to greenfields: environmental justice versus environmental gentrification’, International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 15, Google Scholar

MATTANOVICH, E., BURGER, G., FISCHER, M., NEUBAUER, U. and STEBEGG, K. (2017), Handlungsziele für Stadtgrün und deren empirische Evidenz: Indikatoren, Kenn- und Orientierungswerte, Bonn, Federal Institute for Building, Urban Affairs and Spatial Research (BBSR) in the Federal Office for Building and Regional Planning (BBR), (accessed 21 June 2021). Google Scholar

MITCHELL, G. and DORLING, D. (2003), ‘An environmental justice analysis of British air quality’, Environment and Planning A: Economy and Space, 35, 909-29. Google Scholar

MOHAI, P., PELLOW, D. and ROBERTS, J. T. (2009), ‘Environmental justice’, Annual Review of Environment and Resources, 34, 405-30. Google Scholar

OECD (ORGANIZATION FOR ECONOMIC COOPERATION AND DEVELOPMENT) (2018), Handbook on Constructing Composite Indicators: Methodology and User Guide, Paris, OECD, (accessed 26 March 2020). Google Scholar

PREISENDÖRFER, P. (2014), ‘Umweltgerechtigkeit: Von sozial-räumlicher Ungleichheit hin zu postulierter Ungerechtigkeit lokaler Umweltbelastungen’, Soziale Welt, 65, 25-45. Google Scholar

RAWLS, J. (1971), A Theory of Justice, revised edition, Cambridge, MA, The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press. Google Scholar

RICHTER, B., GRUNEWALD, K. and MEINEL, G. (2016), ‘Analyse von Wegedistanzen in Städten zur Verifizierung des Ökosystemleistungsindikators “Erreichbarkeit städtischer Grünflächen”’, AGIT 2-2016: Journal für Angewandte Geoinformatik, 1, 472-81. Google Scholar

RÜTTENAUER, T. (2018), ‘Neighbours matter: a nation-wide small-area assessment of environmental inequality in Germany’, Social Science Research, 70, 198-211. Google Scholar

SCHAEFER, M. and THINH, N. X. (2019), ‘Evaluation of land cover change and agricultural protection sites: a GIS and remote sensing approach for Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam’, Heliyon, 5, 1-14. Google Scholar

SCHAEFER, M., THINH, N. X. and GREIVING, S. (2020), ‘How can climate resilience be measured and visualized? Assessing a vague concept using GIS-based fuzzy logic’, Sustainability, 12, 635. Google Scholar

SCHLOSBERG, D. (2004), ‘Reconceiving environmental justice: global movements and political theories’, Environmental Politics, 13, 517-40. Google Scholar

SCHLOSBERG, D. (2007), Defining Environmental Justice, Oxford, Oxford University Press. Google Scholar

SCHLOSBERG, D. (2013), ‘Theorising environmental justice: the expanding sphere of a discourse’, Environmental Politics, 22, 37-55. Google Scholar

SCHLOSBERG, D. and COLLINS, L. B. (2014), ‘From environmental to climate justice: climate change and the discourse of environmental justice’, Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Climate Change, 5, 359-74. Google Scholar

SHRESTHA, R., FLACKE, J., MARTINEZ, J. and VAN MAARSEVEEN, M. (2016), ‘Environmental health related socio-spatial inequalities: identifying “hotspots” of environmental burdens and social vulnerability’, International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 13, 691, Google Scholar

SHRESTHA, R., FLACKE, J., MARTINEZ, J. and VAN MAARSEVEEN, M. (2018), ‘Interactive cumulative burden assessment: engaging stakeholders in an adaptive, participatory and transdisciplinary approach’, International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 15, 260, Google Scholar

UGGLA, Y. (2012), ‘Construction of “nature” in urban planning: a case study of Stockholm’, Town Planning Review, 83, 69-85. Google Scholar

VIENNEAU, D., HOOGH, K. DE and BRIGGS, D. (2009), ‘A GIS-based method for modelling air pollution exposures across Europe’, Science of the Total Environment, 408, 255-66. Google Scholar

WALKER, G. (2009), ‘Beyond distribution and proximity: exploring the multiple spatialities of environmental justice’, Antipode, 41, 614-36. Google Scholar

WANG, Y. and AKBARI, H. (2016), ‘The effects of street tree planting on urban heat island mitigation in Montreal’, Sustainable Cities and Society, 27, 122-28. Google Scholar

WHO (WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION) (2011), Public Health Advice on Preventing Health Effects of Heat, (accessed 26 March 2020). Google Scholar

YOUNG, I. M. (2007), Justice and the Politics of Difference, 11th impression, Princeton, Princeton University Press. Google Scholar

If you have private access to this content, please log in with your username and password here


Author details

Ohlmeyer, Kristina

Schaefer, Mathias

Kirstein, Madeleine

Gruehn, Dietwald

Greiving, Stefan