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Berlin Environmental Atlas

09.01 Environmental Justice (Edition 2015)

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Core Indicator 5: Social Problems/ Status-Index
(Gabriel, K. et al. 2015)

Countable events such as mortality and vulnerability to disease strongly depend on class. This has been confirmed by studies in the area of health sociology and public-health research time and again. It is statistically proven that the lower the income, the more premature the mortality. At the same time it is true that the lower the social class, the higher the vulnerability to disease. Problem areas thus exhibit a higher disease risk and correlate negatively with a healthy lifestyle – social stress, malnutrition, lack of leisure options, work conditions with a higher health risk are some of the possible consequences. And yet the causal relations that lie behind this and show a clear causal direction require further investigation.

Consequently, in the framework of the environmental justice conception, it is necessary to include the social differences between the individual neighbourhoods and planning areas in as much detail as possible. The Social Urban Development Monitoring (Monitoring Soziale Stadtentwicklung (MSS) 2013) provides small-scale information concerning the change of socio-structural and socio-spatial development in the 447 planning areas.

The Social Urban Development Monitoring 2013 relies on a set of six status and six dynamic indicators from the field of social reporting, which are used to form aggregated index values because they fulfil the methodological requirement (high intercorrelation) and at the same time describe the facts of social inequality. The index indicators are represented as “status” and as “dynamic indicators“, with the dynamic indicators showing the change of a status indicator over the course of two years. In coordination with the Statistical Office for Berlin-Brandenburg (Amt für Statistik Berlin-Brandenburg (AfS)), only the statements about the status index from the Social Urban Development Monitoring 2013 were used for the purpose of compiling the small-scale environmental justice analyses (core and complementary indicators) and for the multiple-load map – the Berlin environmental justice map.

Moreover, with the methodological approach of the environmental justice analysis in mind, as for the other topics the 4-level classification (high, medium, low, very low) used in the Social Urban Development Monitoring 2013 was condensed into a 3-level classification, with the categories "low" and "very low" being merged into one classification. The 3-level classification of the status index of the Berlin environmental justice approach is ordinally described as follows: "high/very high problem density", "medium problem density" and "low/very low problem density".

The evaluation shows clear spatial focal points with planning areas with a low/very low social index. These are predominantly districts characterised by Wilhelminian architecture in the former western part of the city. Especially Kreuzberg, Wedding, northern Neukölln as well as the pre-WWII neighbourhoods in the centre of Spandau stand out. A further focal point is formed by the large estates of social or industrial development in both parts of the city. Especially the Märkische Viertel and the Falkenhagener Feld in the west, and Hohenschönhausen, Mahrzahn and Hellersdorf in the east of the city should be mentioned here. "Smaller" large estates such as Lichtenrade Ost or Lichterfelde Süd are also reflected in the evaluation.

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