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What Have We Wrought? An Explication of the Consequences of Segregation

  • Catalina Freixas
  • Mark Abbott
Chapter
Part of the The Urban Book Series book series (UBS)

Abstract

The purpose of this chapter is to identify and elucidate the primary consequences of segregation in America. The research of Wilson (The Truly Disadvantaged: The Inner City, the Underclass, and Public Policy. Chicago University Press, Chicago, 1987), Anderson (Streetwise: Race, Class, and Change in the Urban Community. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1993/Code of the Street: Decency, Violence, and the Moral Life of the Inner City. W.W. Norton & Company, New York, 1999), Bullard and Johnson (Sprawl City: Race, Politics, and Planning in Atlanta. Island Press, Washington, DC, 2000), Bobo (Locked In and Locked Out: The Impact of Urban Land Use Policy and Market Forces on African Americans. Praeger Publishers, Westport, CT, 2001), Taylor (Toxic Communities: Environmental Racism, Industrial Pollution, and Residential Mobility. New York University Press, New York, 2014), Purnell (For the Sake of All. Washington University in St. Louis, 2015), Kryson and Crowder (The Cycle of Segregation: Social Processes and Residential Segregation. Russell Sage Foundation, New York, 2017), and Rooks (Cutting School: Privatization, Segregation, and the End of Public Education. The New Press, New York, 2017) inform the focus group agenda. The main consequences that the literature has identified stemming from segregation include disparities in housing options, wealth accumulation, educational opportunities, and health care access; disproportional crime rates in black communities; intergenerational poverty in low-income black communities; environmental racism; and suburban sprawl. While the participants acknowledged these consequences of segregation for African Americans, the conversation focused on the negative impacts on society, in particular for post-industrial cities like St. Louis. The discussants identified three main regional dysfunctions that segregation has produced. The first is geo-spatial and the acceleration of suburban sprawl. The second is political and the fragmentation of the metropolitan governance. The third is economic and the inability of post-industrial cities to respond to globalization. In the accompanying essay, “Reconciliation Through Art, Culture and Planning: Designing the Equitable, Inclusive and Sustainable City for the Twenty-first Century,” Jasmin Aber suggests that segregation has produced a fourth dysfunction in the American city. She argues that segregation has distorted the culture of the city by denying the value of the African American heritage. She further suggests that the acknowledgment of the value of African American culture may be a way of partially mitigating the effects of segregation.

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Catalina Freixas
    • 1
  • Mark Abbott
    • 2
  1. 1.ArchitectureWashington University in St. LouisSt. LouisUSA
  2. 2.Social and Behavioral SciencesHarris-Stowe State UniversitySt. LouisUSA

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