Better Air Quality Outcomes in Southwest Detroit – UROP Spring Symposium 2021

Better Air Quality Outcomes in Southwest Detroit

Alexis Barritt


Pronouns: she/her/hers

Research Mentor(s): Maggie Striz, Director of Healthy Air
Research Mentor School/College/Department: Southwest Detroit Environmental Vision,
Presentation Date: Thursday, April 22, 2021
Session: Session 2 (11am – 11:50am)
Breakout Room: Room 6
Presenter: 1

Event Link


Southwest Detroit Environmental Vision (SDEV) works to fulfill the needs of the community by empowering its residents to engage and by providing a connection to important resources. SDEV works with industrial corporations, businesses, and residents to address environmental pressures and concerns, specifically air pollution. Residents of Southwest Detroit live in the middle of industry and are exposed to bad air quality that leads to asthma, lead poisoning, strokes, heart attacks, and more. Even more significantly, these high impact areas correlate to more COVID fatalities as a result of these pre-existing conditions. SDEV recognizes that these high impact areas are primarily urban areas of color and that environmental and racial justice go hand in hand. To combat this issue, SDEV is working to propose a revised truck route to reduce truck traffic on residential streets and to increase enforcement of Detroit’s Anti-Idling Ordinance. SDEV has compiled a list of community members willing to host cameras and air-quality monitors at their residences collecting data relating to pollution levels. This data will be used in the proposal to revise the truck routes in order to better protect the health and wellbeing of the community. SDEV also fosters civic engagement and advocates for environmental policy. This is done by organizing residents to talk to their representatives who vote on the policies that affect them. Through these efforts, SDEV is able to engage the community and make deep and impactful changes that lessen environmental pressures. SDEV works to ensure that the residents come first and their concerns are being heard and met.

Authors: Alexis Barritt, Jacquelyn Zamora, Raquel Garcia, Maggie Striz
Research Method: Community Based Research

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