Environmental risk and (re)action: air quality, health, and civic involvement in an urban industrial neighbourhood
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This paper explores the links between (perceived) environmental risk and community (re) action in an urban industrial neighbourhood in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. In-depth interviews were conducted with residents of an area with a documented history of adverse air quality, in order to determine the relative influence of social capital (networks, norms, and social trust) and place attachment (sense of belonging in a neighbourhood) in deciding to take civic action around this particular environmental issue. The interviews illustrate the complexity of lay understandings of air pollution, and indicate that social capital is a primary contributor to the decision to take certain kinds of action, while attachment to place plays a lesser role.
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