Promoting Spatial Inclusion: How Everyday Places Signal Who Is Welcome

  • Amy HillierEmail author
Part of the Handbooks of Sociology and Social Research book series (HSSR)


Regardless of whether we live in urban, suburban, or rural areas, we all “read” landscapes for indications of whether we fit in and are welcome. Identities relating to race, ethnicity, class, gender and sexuality all contribute to the lenses through which we interpret these signs. This chapter considers how we make sense of public and private places and what elements of the built and social environment we can change to make a wider range of people feel welcome. Specific examples focus on how people navigate food stores and neighborhood parks based on their intersecting identities.


Marginalized communities Reading landscapes Parks and public spaces Food stores Spatial inclusion 



The research referenced in this chapter was funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Heart Lung and Blood Institute #R01HL092569 and USDA grant #2010-85215-20659 from the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA).


  1. Byrne, J., & Wolch, J. (2009). Nature, race, and parks: Past research and future directions for geographic research. Progress in Human Geography, 33(6), 743–765.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Cannuscio, C. C., Hillier, A., Karpyn, A., & Glanz, K. (2014). The social dynamics of healthy food shopping and store choice in an urban environment. Social Science and Medicine, 122, 13–20.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Chrisinger, B. (2016). A mixed-method assessment of a new supermarket in a food desert: contributions to everyday life and health. Journal of Urban Health, 93(3), 425–437.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Duncan, J., & Duncan, N. (1988). (Re)reading the landscape. Environment and Planning D, 6, 117–126.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Freitag, M. (2013). A queer geography of a school: Landscapes of safe(r) spaces. Confero, 1(2), 123–161.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Frish, M. (2015). Finding transformative planning practice in the spaces of intersectionality. In P. Doan (Ed.), Planning and LGBTQ communities: The need for inclusive queer spaces. Routlege: New York.Google Scholar
  7. Hillier, A., Han, B., Eisenman, T. S., Evenson, K., McKenzie, T. L., & Cohen, D. A. (2016). Using systematic observations to understand conditions that promote interracial experiences in neighbourhood parks. Urban Planning, 1(4), 51–64.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Hillier, A., Smith, T. E., Cannuscio, C. C., Karpyn, A., & Glanz, K. (2015). A discrete choice approach to modeling food store access. Environment and Planning B, 42, 263–278.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Kwan, M.-P. (2008). From oral histories to visual narratives: Re-presenting the post-September 11 experiences of the Muslim women in the USA. Social and Cultural Geography, 9(6), 653–669.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Lapham, S. C., Cohen, D. A., Han, B., Williamson, S., Evenson, K. R., McKenzie, T. L., et al. (2016). How important is perception of safety to park use? A four-city survey. Urban Studies, 53(12), 1–13.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Mapping the Du Bois Philadephia Negro. (2011). A legacy of courage: W.E.B. Du Bois and The Philadelphia Negro. Documentary available at:
  12. South, E. C., Kondo, M. C., Cheney, R. A., & Branas, C. C. (2015). Neighborhood blight, stress, and health: A walking trial of urban greening and ambulatory heart rate. American Journal of Public Health, 105(5), 909–913.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Wiebe, D. J., Guo, W., Allison, P. D., Anderson, E., Richmond, T. S., & Branas, C. C. (2013). Fears of violence during morning travel to school. Journal of Adolescent Health, 53(1), 54–61.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Zenk, S. N., Odoms-Young, A. M., Dallas, C., Hardy, E., Watkins, A., Hoskins-Wroten, J., & Holland, L. (2011). “You have to hunt for the fruits, the vegetables”: environmental barriers and adaptive strategies to acquire food in a low-income African American neighborhood. Health education and behavior, 38(3), 282–292.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Zenk, S. N., Schulz, A. J., Israel, B. A., Mentz, G., Miranda, P. Y., Opperman, A., & Odoms-Young, A. M. (2014). Food shopping behaviours and exposure to discrimination. Public health nutrition, 17(5), 1167–1176.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Social Policy & PracticeUniversity of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA

Personalised recommendations