Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs
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Anthony Pratcher – What I Am Thinking About Now – The Colored Metropolis: Race, Housing, and Metropolitan Development

Thursday, April 25, 2019

12 p.m. – 1 p.m.

CSREA, 96 Waterman Street

RSVP to csrea@brown.edu

What I Am Thinking About Now is an ongoing informal workshop/seminar series to which campus scholars, faculty and graduate students are invited to present recently published work and work in progress.

Urban scholars of all stripes have struggled to agree on a workable definition for racial integration in metropolitan communities. In many cases, racial integration exists as a transient state – a moment in time between demographic transformation. Using ArcGID to spatially represent demographic data, this paper demostrates the value of a self-referential formula to identify racial integration in metropolitan space. Using census data from 1970 until 2010, this paper advances a system which determines, in relation to other census tracts, where there are zones of relative racial integration within one metropolitan area. This approach, opposed to identifying census tracts which met specific quantitative criteria, through the treatment of racial integration as a qualitative variable, shows how local economic conditions allow racial integration to co-exist with rising social segregation. In conclusion, this paper provides a method to quantify racial integration as part of metropolitan growth across space and time.