Climate & Environmental Justice Policy in Colorado

Climate Justice Now! Protest Sign

The Mountain West ACE-CH hub supports climate change resilience in the West Denver and San Luis Valley communities in Colorado. Using a community-engaged approach, the hub supports the formation of community, policy, and scientific advisory boards. These boards and the research team work collaboratively to develop a climate engagement report exploring climate change and air quality concerns, beliefs, behaviors, information sources, assets, and desires regarding environmental justice in West Denver and the San Luis Valley.

Funded by the National Institutes of Health.

North Denver Environmental Justice Data-to-Action

Data on a computer screen
As part of this project, our team creates broad-brush audits of the sources of environmental hazards in disproportionately impacted neighborhoods, focusing on North Denver. We also develop tools to educate historically privileged communities about the ways their lives depend on the services these neighborhoods provide. We work in collaboration with GreenLatinos as well as Dr. Sara Wylie’s Northeastern University research group in Boston, MA, who began this work in Chelsea, MA. The goal of this research is to support disproportionately impacted communities in the work they already do to bring awareness of the hazards they face and build alliances that can create lasting positive changes that improve their health.

Parked semi trucks from above

In collaboration with the CU Denver Community Collaborative Research Center (CCRC), the Dickinson Lab is conducting a project that  leverages community-engaged research to promote a just transition towards electrification of Denver’s shipping and transportation sector, the majority of which is concentrated in the North Denver region. The task is to ensure the equitable and effective implementation electrification initiatives by prioritizing disproportionately impacted populations. These populations include truck drivers and warehouse employees exposed to high amounts of diesel and particulate matter pollution from trucks as well as small business owners who may be concerned about the financial implications of transitioning to an electric fleet.


Oil pump in a field

Using an environmental justice perspective, the Dickinson Lab explores how recent policy changes in Colorado have shaped oil and gas decision making in cities and counties across the state. Using surveys, interviews, and geospatial analysis, we assess whether or not the distribution of risks and benefits from oil and gas (O&G) development has been equitable.

This project is funded by the National Science Foundation.

Sun Valley Public Housing Redevelopment Study

handprint & heart art project
The homes and environments where people live affect physical and mental health through multiple channels. The role of housing in shaping health outcomes is particularly important in the face of climate change. Working in partnership with the Denver Housing Authority, our team conducted pilot studies on the impacts of housing redevelopment on residents’ health and well-being.

This project is funded by the JPB Foundation.

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