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The disproportionate impact of urban renewal projects on non-white families

Here is an interesting chart from the New York Times explaining the disproportionate impact that highway and urban renewal projects have had on non-white families in the US. The x-axis is the non-white population share in 1950. And the y-axis is the percentage of displaced families that were non-white. What this means is that the diagonal dotted line through the middle represents a kind of racially balanced displacement.

However, as you can tell from the graph, displacement from 1950 to 1966 was not balanced. In Providence, for example, only 3% of families were non-white in 1950. But these families represented 31% of the ones displaced for renewal projects. In Philadelphia, about 18% of families were non-white, but here they represented 71% of those displaced.

I don’t think that this will be news to a lot of you. “Urban renewal” is a loaded term in American urbanism. But the article does do a great job of taking you back through time in cities like Houston, Chicago, and New York. The article is also by Adam Paul Susaneck, who is the founder of Segregation by Design. If you’re interested in this topic, I would encourage you to check out his website.

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