Built Environment Analysis- Segregation is Not Over

Madison Brooks Dr. Robin Wharton Engl 1102 20 April 2016 Segregation is Not Over As Atlanta, Georgia made steps to recover after World War II, African Americans were treated as second-class citizens by Caucasians as commercial expansion uprooted their homes and inner city development was used to push them out of the city and into the suburbs. As a result, African Americans and Caucasians began and continue to settle in separate communities. African Americans and Caucasians live segregated mainly because Caucasians physically forced African Americans out of their existing homes and into the suburbs. After World War II, programs intended for reconstruction wound up only benefiting wealthy, politically powerful men (Bullard 12). These men were uninterested in improving areas of deteriorating poverty in the city. Federal programs such as anti-poverty projects were gradually ignored, and as a result failed miserably. For example, Atlanta begun the Model Cities Program in 1966 in an effort to fix the problems in Atlanta’s low-income neighborhoods, which were mostly inhabited by African Americans (Holliman 21). The program was substantially underfunded and understaffed and did little for the living conditions of the select neighborhoods. Instead of finding other ways to improve these lower-class areas, politicians’ solutions were to simply destroy these “slums” and create new developments over them in the race to expand Atlanta into a tourist destination (Holliman 21). As well as African American families forced out of their homes, the larger activity in private development compared to federal government programs, caused Caucasians to steadily drive an increasing gap between the social classes of Caucasians and African Americans (Pooley). In the 20th century, in addition...

The Atlanta Beltline’s Potential to Increase Racial Inequality

Jacob, Brown. “Respatializing Race: The Open Case of the Atlanta Beltline.” Emory University, 2013. Web. In his thesis “Respatializing Race: The Open Case of the Atlanta Beltline”,  Jacob Brown a student of the London School of Economics at Emory University, discusses the ” spatial dimensions of racial inequality” (3) that exist in Atlanta. In particular he examines the Beltline and “interrogates its broader potential to act as an agent of racial equity” (4). Brown notes that while the Beltline contributes green and art spaces and “connect Atlanta’s neighborhoods through multi-use trails and rail transit” (4) it can also have a “potential effect on Atlanta’s racial inequality” (4). Other projects such as the Olympic Park, Turner Field, Underground Atlanta and Omni International (5) claimed to solve issues similar to those addressed with the Beltline. However, these projects have all led to displaced impoverished black communities. Brown suggests because the Beltline shares characterisitcs of these projects and “how race affected these developments, and vice versa, indicates the Beltline’s potential relationship with racial equity” (7).  Northeast Beltline (Author’s Own) This source is useful for researchers because it shows how Atlanta’s environment is built to enhance disparities between  its “wealthy White north side”and “poor Black south side” and how this impact weakens social connections between neighborhoods. In the case of the Beltline the development appears to be beneficial providing “small businesses along the pedestrian trails, residential developments, art installations and parks” (10). However, this small improvement is overshadowed by inequalities. The Beltline rail is designed in a way that “divide neighborhoods and constrain intra-neighborhood connections” (16) leading to social exclusion due to lack of transportation. The purpose of this source is...
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