Michael Bader and Siri Warkentien have posted an interesting mapping tool, Neighborhood Racial & Ethnic Change Trajectories, 1970-2010. They had set out to answer the question:
how have neighborhoods changed since the Civil Rights Movement outlawed discriminatory housing? We study how neighborhood racial integration has changed during the four decades after the legislative successes of the Civil Rights Movement. We were unsatisfied with previous studies that focused mostly on defining “integrated” and “segregated” neighborhoods based on only on whether groups were present. We thought that the most interesting and important changes occur within “integrated” neighborhoods, and we set out to identify the common patterns of those changes.
We used a sophisticated statistical method to identify the most common types of change among Blacks, Latinos, Asians and Whites in the metropolitan neighborhoods of the four largest cities in the U.S.: New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Houston. We were disappointed to learn that many integrated neighborhoods were actually experiencing slow, but steady resegregation — a process that we call “gradual succession.” The process tended to concentrate Blacks into small areas of cities and inner-ring suburbs while scattering many Latinos and Asians into segregating neighborhoods throughout the metropolitan area.
While we reserve a healthy dose of pessimism about long-term integration, we also find neighborhoods experiencing long-term integration among Blacks, Latinos, Asians, and Whites. We call these “quadrivial” neighborhoods, which derives from Latin for the intersection of four paths. We thought that seemed appropriate given the often different paths different racial groups took to these neighborhoods. (emphasis in the original)
I was, of course, interested in the New York City map. While NYC is highly segregated, it was interesting to see the prevalence of these so-called quadrivial neighborhoods. The authors find that
About 20 million people call the New York metropolitan area home. The metro area is one of the most segregated in the United States and, as a result, New York has a large proportion of neighborhoods following stable Black and stable White trajectories. Some of the segregation came about because of White flight during the 1970s. Black segregation following this path clusters in the Lower Bronx, North Brooklyn, and in and around Newark, New Jersey.
Large-scale Latino immigration to the New York metro area has been relatively recent, and the number of recent Latino enclaves bears out that pattern. Neighborhoods experiencing recent Latino growth are scattered throughout suburban New Jersey, Long Island and northern New York neighborhoods. New York also experienced high levels of Asian immigration relative to other metropolitan areas. Neighborhoods experiencing recent Asian growth are scattered throughout the metropolitan region.
New York also contains a large number of quadrivial neighborhood and the highest proportion of White re-entry neighborhoods. The latter are found near transportation to Manhattan in the gentrifying areas of Jersey City and Weehawken, New Jersey and the Brooklyn terminals of the Manhattan and Williamsburg Bridges.
New York, therefore, contains the contradiction of containing a large number of segregating neighborhoods along with a distinct trend toward integration.
I am not sure that I have any insight to explain that contradiction, although Walt Whitman, Brooklyn’s poet, notes:
Do I contradict myself?
Very well, then I contradict myself,
(I am large, I contain multitudes).