Map Monday: Two Maps Showing Minneapolis Racial Segregation

Here’s a pair of maps from two sources at the University of Minnesota, both showing a similar picture about race and diversity in Minneapolis, though from different angles.

The first, from the Institute for Metropolitan Opportunity:

In a blog post on the map, researcher Will Stancil writes:

Predominantly nonwhite communities form two distinct “blobs” on the map that grow and change over time. The dynamics of segregation — both the inability of nonwhite residents to find housing outside of racially concentrated areas, and the tendency of white residents to flee from an area as it racially transitions — ensures these “blobs” remain coherent and well-defined on the map, even as the city’s nonwhite population grows rapidly.

Here’s another visualization of a very similar map, from the UMN’s Center for Urban and Regional Affairs:

In this map, a “diversity index” is used that contrasts racial and ethnically balanced areas with ones with that have a single dominant group.

Taking a different approach on the segregation data, researcher and Ph.D. student Tony Damiano points to how white neighborhoods become normalized in discourses. From a series of Damiano’s tweets:

The most segregated neighborhoods in Minneapolis are white neighborhoods in southwest Minneapolis …The near-south and near-north sides are the most racially diverse in the city, but policy makers tend to talk about the Northside being racially segregated. Why is that the case?… To many, segregated neighborhoods are just those that don’t have enough white people in them. This leads to a situation where white neighborhoods become the normative ideal and communities of color are inherently looked upon as inferior.

It’s interesting to me to see two ways of looking at the same picture.

Bill Lindeke

About Bill Lindeke

Pronouns: he/him

Bill Lindeke has writing blogging about sidewalks and cities since 2005, ever since he read Jane Jacobs. He is a lecturer in Urban Studies at the University of Minnesota Geography Department, the Cityscape columnist at Minnpost, and has written multiple books on local urban history. He was born in Minneapolis, but has spent most of his time in St Paul. Check out Twitter @BillLindeke or on Facebook.

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