Here is a fascinating map from Myron Orfield’s Institute for Metropolitan Opportunity that categorizes the Twin Cities’ metro region into four different groups based on racial diversity and density.
I like this map’s simplicity and focus, and also the fine grain at which it makes its distinctions. For example, you can see how different parts of Saint Paul and Minneapolis compare with each other so that, for example, the Southwest portions of both core cities are “predominantly white” while some suburbs (e.g. Woodbury, Burnsville, Brooklyn Park) are “diverse.” (The threshold between those two categories is placed at a census tract that is 60% or more white residents.)
The map also reveals to some of the rapid changes around communities of color in the Twin Cities over the last few decades. For example, here’s the same map from 1990.
Sometimes cartographic simplicity can be refreshing food for thought. For me, this map helps make sense of some of the impacts of the land use, zoning, and transportation debates, not just within the region, but within individual cities.
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