Date of Award

Spring 5-10-2019

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts (BA)


Environmental Studies


John Van Buren


Respiratory issues like asthma are common across the globe. So why does a borough in one of the most developed cities in the world have the worst asthma rates in the United States? This paper looks at the disadvantages that the Bronx, New York faces due to its poor air quality, particularly the increased risk of respiratory illness and disease. It examines the benefit of green spaces and parks on human health. Tree coverage and increased oxygen outputs are proven to lessen the risk of respiratory issues. While it is the “greenest” borough in New York, much of the Bronx’s greenspace is allocated to affluent areas and away from the majority of its diverse, lower class population. By examining the variety of disparities between affluent, suburban neighborhoods and poorer, urban areas, the sources of many environmental and public health disadvantages are revealed. The paper focuses on the Bronx, but it employs research from a variety of other urban areas with similar conditions.