Residential “Integration” and Racial Isolation in Northwest Philadelphia

Laryssa Mykyta, University of Pennsylvania

Most studies of residential segregation compare levels of segregation across metropolitan areas or examine segregation of specific racial or ethnic groups within a larger metropolitan area. Few studies have focused specifically on the extent and effects of residential segregation within a specific neighborhood, although it is precisely in the crucible of the community that segregation is experienced. This paper will employ Census and land use data to examine levels of segregation within two Philadelphia communities (Mount Airy and Germantown) and employ GIS tools to examine patterns of racial clustering across blocks and block groups. Further, the paper will address the consequences of segregation in terms of the racial distribution of space and housing values. Preliminary findings suggest that the racial composition of these communities masks substantial variation in racial composition and levels of segregation, even in nominally integrated West Mount Airy.

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Presented in Session 155: The Spatial Scale of Residential Segregation