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Retail Redlining in New York City: Racialized Access to Day-to-Day Retail Resources


Racial residential segregation is associated with health inequalities in the USA, and one of the primary mechanisms is through influencing features of the neighborhood physical environment. To better understand how Black residential segregation might contribute to health risk, we examined retail redlining; the inequitable distribution of retail resources across racially distinct areas. A combination of visual and analytic methods was used to investigate whether predominantly Black census block groups in New York City had poor access to retail stores important for health. After controlling for retail demand, median household income, population density, and subway ridership, percent Black was associated with longer travel distances to various retail industries. Our findings suggest that Black neighborhoods in New York City face retail redlining. Future research is needed to determine how retail redlining may perpetuate health disparities and socioeconomic disadvantage.

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This research was supported in part by grant #63155 from the Healthy Eating Research Program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

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Correspondence to Naa Oyo A. Kwate.

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Kwate, N.O.A., Loh, J.M., White, K. et al. Retail Redlining in New York City: Racialized Access to Day-to-Day Retail Resources. J Urban Health 90, 632–652 (2013).

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  • Segregation
  • African American/Black
  • Retail
  • Redlining
  • Neighborhoods
  • New York City