Urban Freeways Close to Home
Kate is right to identify industry as a threat to low income neighborhoods. Every time you take I-95 past Bridgeport, CT, you are greeted by the orange and white smokestack of a coal-burning power plant . Even though its only active about 2 weeks per year, the harmful byproducts of the plant contribute to high rates of asthma and lung cancer in the city. And, of course, I-95 cuts through the same area of the city, bringing more harmful fumes into the lungs of Bridgeport residents. As Avila’s book reveals, the interstate gives people with wealth greater mobility at the expense of poor people of color who have limited freedom of movement. Like the people of Commerce in the YouTube video, Bridgeport residents are being forced to suffer the effects of a toxic environment, but are fighting back to defend their right to health and well-being.
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