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Pollution Zones, Linear and Planar

Koichi Hasegawa

Subject Sociology » Environmental Sociology

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405124331.2007.x


The concepts of linear and planar pollution zones refer to the geographical figuration of the polluted area caused especially by high-speed transportation pollution. Whereas bullet trains and high-speed expressways create linear pollution zones 20–50 meters wide on each side along their routes, airplanes produce planar pollution zones along their takeoff and landing routes surrounding the airport. In the former case, the number of victims at any given site suffering severe noise pollution may be relatively limited, typically at most several thousands of residents. In the latter case, though, victims may number more than 10,000 residents over several cities and towns. These differences result in differences of (1) the organizing and mobilizing process of protest movements against noise pollution or the construction of new facilities; (2) the attitude of affected municipalities; and (3) the countermeasures taken. In general, the planar pollution zone imposes similar sufferings on the residents of whole neighborhoods and their neighborhood associations. The linear pollution zone, however, does not always include whole neighborhoods and their associations, but can run through many of them. In planning the routes of a bullet train line or expressway, the first priority is to make it straight to improve speed. This goal tends to neglect the existing residential area. The degree and type ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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