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The Impact of Segregation and Disinvestment on Chicago's Black Population

The city is losing black residents, but those who stay are relocating to parts of the city with less transportation access and opportunities.
February 7, 2020, 5am PST | Camille Fink
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Natapong Ratanavi

David Zegeye explores the decrease in Chicago's black population and the relationship to transportation access and mobility. "Many population losses happened along formerly vibrant streets, and corridors that have been significant in Chicago’s Black history and culture."

Of the small number of Chicago neighborhoods with increases in black residents, only a handful are historically black neighborhoods, says Zegeye. "What is also striking is that many of these communities are at the edge of the city, where there are fewer businesses, commercial corridors, and transportation options."

Transit and transportation infrastructure improvements are short-term solutions to stemming the flow of black residents, but longer-term strategies also need to address the effects of segregation, says Zegeye. "This can only be done when the city recognizes disinvestment in these neighborhoods as a public health and safety issue, and as an act of injustice."

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Published on Tuesday, January 21, 2020 in Streetsblog Chicago
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