Lightbulb: Gorgeous infographics on urban US racial and ethnic dispersion

If you were wondering whether or not the legacy of racial urban policies still affects our country, this should give you food for thought.

Radical Cartography inspired Detroit infographic

2 responses to “Lightbulb: Gorgeous infographics on urban US racial and ethnic dispersion

  1. Gorgeous, or disturbing? If these maps were hung, without comment, in a realtors office, that realtor would probably be in violation of Federal law. See Corcoran Group vs. New York State Attorney General (2006)

  2. Thanks for the comment Edwin. On the issue of gorgeous vs disturbing — I think visually gorgeous infographics are a powerful tool in getting people to focus on some quite disturbing realities. Overall, these maps are a good example of how the same data can be used for good or ill — on the one hand the images present a frank indictment of the legacy of racist housing and urban development policies in this country, and could be used as evidence to prove that more change is needed. On the other hand (as in the Corcoran case you cite), the same images can be used by realtors who continue to engage in “racial steering,” an illegal practice of “guiding” potential homebuyers away from certain neighborhoods based on race. The Civil Rights and Fair Housing Acts can only do so much; as is often the case, our lived realities have yet to catch up with our more aspirational policies. Perhaps these maps (seen in a critical context) serve to remind us of how far we have yet to go?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s