American cities are characterized by two overlapping and reinforcing types of inequality. First, some neighborhoods and communities provide greater quality of life and more robust opportunities for social and economic mobility than others. Second, people are systematically separated across neighborhoods and communities by race and ethnicity. The outcome of this is that people of color are disproportionately located in neighborhoods and communities that face greater disadvantage than are White households.
In this course, we investigate the social, economic, and political processes that result in this pattern of segregation and inequality in American cities. First, American cities are fragmented into multiple overlapping jurisdictions that provide many of the tools needed to generate inequality and segregation. Second, self-reinforcing processes of neighborhood change create racial and wealth segregation across neighborhoods within particular jurisdictions. Addressing urban racial and economic inequality, then, requires addressing both forms of inequality.
By the end of this course, students will have demonstrated their ability to:
--- Measure and evaluate outcomes at the neighborhood level
--- Critically evaluate arguments about processes of neighborhood change such as segregation, blight and gentrification
--- Describe and analyze the equity implications of alternative institutional arrangements for governing neighborhoods and metropolitan regions