Pub. date: 2011 | Online Pub. Date: May 04, 2010 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412973816 | Print ISBN: 9781412996822 | Online ISBN: 9781412973816| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Rebecca R. Gasper
Environmental risk refers to the likelihood of adverse effects resulting from various environmental hazards that occur in urban areas. In the narrow sense, this term refers primarily to the negative health effects and environmental degradation that occur as a result of pollution generated by anthropogenic activities. More broadly, environmental risk encompasses the likelihood that physical hazards—such as rising sea level, severe weather, and natural disasters—will affect a community, and to what degree they are expected to occur. Urban planners and policy makers can employ a range of mitigation and adaptation measures to manage these risks, including innovative infrastructure design, urban planning, and implementation of new technologies. Industrial, domestic, and transportation activities in cities generate waste and by-products that lower air and water quality, with resulting public health impacts. Air pollution in many cities around the world poses near- and long-term hazards to public health. In the United States, for example, ...