Graduation Year


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Environmental Analysis

Reader 1

Melinda Herrold-Menzies

Reader 2

Char Miller

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© 2016 Lindsay E. McCord


This thesis utilizes a lens of environmental justice to analyze the history of Portland, Oregon and the formation of the Albina neighborhood in North Portland to understand how this community became a space of environmental inequality. Portland has been a leader in sustainable development, and yet, even with its successes, the city either been unable or unwilling to address the disproportionate impacts of environmental hazardss on low-income and communities of color in Albina. Through an examination of Portland’s history of segregation, stigmatization of Albina and its residents, housing policies, and urban renewal as they relate to Albina, this thesis traces the processes of covert institutional racism that have resulted in Albina being targeted by environmental risks. The environmental inequality faced by the Albina community stems from a history rooted in segregation and the stigmatization of people and place, through blatant racism, conscious policy making, as well as more discrete and unacknowledged forms of racism that serves to perpetuate the social and environmental problems that confront the community. Furthermore, the city’s attempts to address these issues through urban renewal projects have led to the displacement and gentrification of Albina residents. To address these issues of environmental inequality, there must first be an understanding of the processes and institutions that formed and have perpetuated these inequalities.