Professor Jane Holder publishes report on environmental justice in Euston area
4 October 2018
The inquiry is called 'Environmental Justice in Somers Town and the Euston Area: An Inquiry into the Cumulative Impacts of Development on the Health and Well-being of Local People'.
In partnership with Voluntary Action Camden and the Environmental Law Foundation, UCL (Faculty of Laws and School of Geography) held an inquiry into the state of the local environment, focusing on air pollution and the loss of open green spaces.
The Inquiry included coordinating a series of workshops, run by local people and chaired by David Hart QC. 91 people participated in the Inquiry, by attending workshops and/or submitting written statements. The main aim of the Inquiry was to gather and present evidence from local people about the impacts of developments - past and present - in Somers Town and the Euston area upon their physical and mental health and well-being, and the quality of the environment they live and work in. The Inquiry found that local people have witnessed and experienced damaging deterioration of air quality, decline and loss of their local open green spaces, the felling of mature trees, the clearance and destruction of places holding great cultural and historic significance, and serious problems with housing and amenities. The anticipation of construction (especially HS2 terminus at Euston) stretching far into the future is a constant worry for local people and this has led some people to live in a state of anxiety.
Legal analysis of the inquiry findings is continuing. The findings of the report have already been disseminated to local politicians and funding groups, a set of community-based recommendations and an action plan for making better and more sustainable future planning and environmental management decisions about this area. The emphasis of the action plan is how best to manage and improve the local environment, during, and after, major construction works, protect open spaces and compensate for the loss of trees, and alleviate air and noise pollution.
UCL filmmaker, Dieter Deswarte, working with masters students, captured the proceedings of the Inquiry and created several short films about the impacts of environmental problems in the area.