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The theory of 'cryptic discrimination'
"Hidden Spatial Inequality" Cedar Grove Institute for Sustainable Communities 2009


Municipal governments have “good government” tools to structure their local political geography
  • Annexation, zoning, redevelopment, etc.
  • The tools are meant to optimize economic & social benefit

Abuse results from the potential for economic and political benefit for elite portions of the population

  • Racial & ethnic discrimination, especially

Such abuse can be invisible on the ground and may remained cryptic for generations

  • … Until the advent of widespread public geospatial databases, to reveal these patterns
Government decisions define / affect the city in these ways:
  • Provision of infrastructure
  • Municipal boundaries & annexation
  • Code enforcement
  • Redevelopment zones
  • Zoning and other land use regulations
  • School Assignment Boundaries
  • “At-large” vs. “by-district” elections
  • Fair housing policy
  • Extraterritorial jurisdiction

Racial zoning. Dallas, TX, instituted racial zoning in 1944, long after it was illegal. This map highlights the "Negro Districts," such as "N-4 Wahoo", shown as horizontal ruling on the official maps. These areas received very limited urban services; that legacy remains. negro districts