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Research Projects

STATUS: Complete YEAR: 2017 TOPIC AREA: Sustainability, energy, and health CENTER: MetroFreight

Location of warehouses and environmental justice: Evidence from four metros in California

Project Summary

Project number: MF-1.1g
Funding source: Volvo Research and Educational Foundations
Performance period: 01/01/2017 to 01/01/2018

Project description

Warehousing activities generate substantial externalities that affect surrounding neighborhoods. Using data for four major metropolitan areas in California, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego and Sacramento, this study tests the relationship between the spatial distribution of warehouses and disadvantaged neighborhoods. The results show that warehouses are disproportionately located in minority neighborhoods, regardless of the urban contexts. The four metros are diversified in the roles of global trade, land availability, and development stage of the warehousing industry. However, the consistent spatial patterns across these metros suggest that the environmental justice problem in warehousing location is a common concern. Local governments should monitor and evaluate the rapid spatial expansion of warehousing facilities and make efforts to mitigate subsequent environmental impacts that are disproportionately located in disadvantaged communities.


Genevieve Giuliano
Professor; Margaret and John Ferraro Chair in Effective Local Government; Senior Associate Dean for Research and Technology; Director, METRANS , Sol Price School of Public Policy
650 Childs Way
Ralph and Goldy Lewis Hall (RGL) 216Los Angeles, CA 90089-0626
United States
[email protected]


Quan Yuan
Postdoctoral Research Associate, Department of City and Regional Planning
New East Building
CB #3140Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3140
United States
[email protected]