Mapping Tool

Twin Cities Environmental Justice


It has historically been very difficult for communities to get access to information and data that would show the many layers of pollution sources in their neighborhoods.

This is one effort CEED conducted in Minneapolis and St. Paul to start to bridge this gap and develop tools for communities to start to access that information themselves. The Twin Cities EJ Mapping Tool provides information about sources of pollution in a community and lets a user compare environmental risks across neighborhoods based on race and income. In seeing the distribution of vulnerabilities across our neighborhoods and communities, we can be informed and continue to promote a common understanding of environmental risks amongst ourselves.

In 2020, CEED performed an update to the tool in partnership with University of Minnesota Center for Urban and Regional Affairs (CURA). CEED gathered feedback from community members and grassroots partners on what would be most useful to represent on the map. Over an iterative process we updated data sources that are currently illustrated on the tool. (Footnote: All the data sources that are used in the tool are publicly accessible. No new information was collected or analyzed as part of the development or update of this tool). While this map notes various burdens impacting communities, we were also intentional in noting areas of resiliency and pride throughout neighborhoods (e.g schools).

The long-term intent is that this tool is useful from a community basis in assessing cumulative sources of pollution; potential coordination needs across multiple regulatory agencies; and needs for building local climate resiliency.

How to use this mapping tool

Expand the “layers” tab indicating larger themes within the map to show various demographic and pollution information in the Twin Cities.

  • Within the layers tab, make sure the box next to “Environmental Justice Atlas” is selected.
  • Expand the layers using drop down arrows. Make sure the top layer (indicating the larger theme) is selected to see information within each sub-layer. For instance, if you want to see schools in your neighborhood, select the “Public Infrastructure” theme and then select the “Schools” sub-layer.
  • You can zoom in to your own neighborhood using the + and – buttons and recenter by selecting and dragging over the map. *Tip: select the “Political Boundaries” theme and then select the “Neighborhoods” sub-layer to view your neighborhood boundaries.Find out how far you live from pollution sources by using the “measure” tool.

Interact with the EJ Atlas online to see complete information in your own neighborhood.