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A New Tool for Measuring Urban Diversity

May 10, 2016

Writing for The Atlantic’s CityLab, Tanvi Misra explores a new visual tool for measuring racial homogeneity in relation to a neighborhood’s “suburban-ness.” Kyle Walker, director of the Center for Urban Studies at Texas Christian University and creator of this new mapping app, measures what he calls a “diversity gradient.”  All census tracts in a city are given a diversity score based on the percentage of whites, Hispanics, blacks, and Asians within the tract (a score of “1” would mean all four racial groups are represented equally), and this score is then graphed against the tract’s relative distance (in miles) from the city center.

“These analyses reveal how growing diversity in the suburbs has been accompanied by persistent homogeneity of neighbourhoods in urban cores, and present a framework for future detailed analysis and exploration of neighbourhood diversity in metropolitan areas.”

The app also allows users to explore each individual census tract in detail for specific data about that neighborhood. Users can also observe a city’s so-called “diversity gradient” over time.

For a link to the app and to read the original article click here.