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Houston most segregated city in the USA

Discussion in 'BBS Hangout' started by da1, Aug 6, 2012.

  1. da1

    da1 Member

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    Roll back the clock to 1980 and Greater Houston looks quite a bit different. Some of the tall buildings, meandering toll roads and shiny professional sports venues aren't there, of course, but of more significance is the absence of many places that Houstonians now call home.

    As the metro area's population doubled over the past three decades, extensive developments and master-planned communities popped up or expanded to serve those with the means to buy spanking new homes on the suburban fringe. As for those of little means - many of them immigrants, legal and otherwise - they increasingly crowded into older, low-income neighborhoods abandoned by residents who lost jobs or found better housing elsewhere.

    The result, according to a new study released Wednesday by the Pew Research Center, is a dubious honor: Houston leads the way among the nation's 10 largest metropolitan areas when it comes to affluent folks living among others who are affluent, and poor living with poor. Pew said residential income segregation is increasing across the country and especially in Texas and the Southwest.

    Of the nation's 30 top metro areas, San Antonio, Houston and Dallas command the medals podium in Pew's Residential Income Segregation Index. In Houston, the percentage of upper-income households in census tracts with a majority of upper-income households increased from 7 in 1980 to 24 in 2010. Likewise, low-income households in majority low-income tracts jumped from 25 to 37.

    Income inequality

    The Pew researchers stopped short of saying precisely why Texas' major cities lead what has become a national trend. Rapid growth has a lot to do with it, they said. But there are other causes they found of particular concern.

    "These increases are related to the long-term rise in income inequality, which has led to a shrinkage in the share of neighborhoods across the United States that are predominantly middle class or mixed income," the report states.

    That doesn't mean that most people are rich or poor, or dwell in either mansions or shacks. Three-quarters of Americans, the report finds, still live in neighborhoods where a majority of residents fall into the middle-income category. But the trend is otherwise, and it worries social scientists.

    "The real challenge for the future of America is not a race divide but a class divide," said Stephen Klineberg, a Rice University sociologist who has spent much of the past 30 years tracking Houston's demographic and economic changes. "We are heading into a world of division not by ethnicity but by class. It is becoming increasingly rigidified. The more income inequality there is, the more the upper classes live in a different world and in a different reality than the poor kids or the middle-class kids."

    After World War II, as the baby boom was beginning and U.S. manufacturing ruled the world, a much smaller percentage of Americans lived in places totally insulated by class, Klineberg said. Most kids went to public schools. Most of their parents had friends and neighbors with college degrees and with formal education that ended at high school. He considers that a good thing, but one that's disappearing.

    "Those days of a rising tide that lifted all boats are gone," he said. "You used to have factory workers living next to college professors, and their incomes weren't that radically different. No more. The accelerating inequality is the fundamental political challenge of our time. The things that assured increased equality of Americans are now gone."

    As the gap between the haves and have-nots began to spread, the desire to associate with those of dissimilar class dwindled. Klineberg referred to a Wall Street Journal story from a few years ago that described the tendency to want to be surrounded by "PLU" - people like us.

    'Master planned'

    In rapidly growing cities of the Southwest where land on the edges of town was literally dirt cheap, developers came up with a template for success starting in the late 1970s and early '80s. Build homes catering to comfortably middle, upper middle and borderline affluent people who did not want the inconveniences of old urban living. "Master planned" became a pseudonym for uniform and nice. There were recreational fields, community centers and often golf courses.

    Low-income housing advocate John Henneberger doesn't have anything against these suburban enclaves, some of which became fenced off and gated in more recent years, but he insists the corresponding concentration of low-income families in certain areas has bad long-term effects.

    "There certainly are negative consequences if poor people are isolated and living only with other poor people," said Henneberger, co-founder of Texas Housers, an Austin-based advocacy group. "The money tends to go where more affluent people live, where the people are more politically engaged. Social capital is highly related to economic capital. Those isolated poor are going to be considerably disadvantaged."

    http://www.chron.com/news/houston-t...here-living-in-areas-with-similar-3755755.php
     
  2. solid

    solid Contributing Member

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    Heavenly Houston!? Maybe geographically, but not culturally. Houston has been and continues to be a good place to be Black.
     
  3. da1

    da1 Member

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  4. Xerobull

    Xerobull You son of a b!tch! I'm in!
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    Woot! Get yer replicants ready, dystopia, here we come!
     
  5. Rasputin12

    Rasputin12 Member

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    Well, of course we are. Don't be ridiculous.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. Uprising

    Uprising Contributing Member

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    ....nothing we didn't already know. West Side of Houston vs East side.
     
  7. Supermac34

    Supermac34 President, Von Wafer Fan Club

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    Can everyone name the blue and red neighborhoods?
     
  8. Kim

    Kim Contributing Member

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    Blue: West University, Upper Kirby, River Oaks, Bellaire, Memorial, Sugar Land, Katy, Woodlands, Kingwood, parts of Pearland?
    Red: ____ Ward, Warehouses, Alief
     
  9. 713

    713 Member

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    bloodz and cripz bruh
     
  10. s land balla

    s land balla Contributing Member

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    pure economic segregation (Houston) > pure racial segregation (Chicago)
     
  11. Jontro

    Jontro Member

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    When I go to restaurants, I sit in the back section with the other reds.
     
  12. tallanvor

    tallanvor Contributing Member

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    racially speaking, Houston is probably the most diverse city in the country. Economic segregation is pretty meaningless imo

    [​IMG]
     
  13. Jontro

    Jontro Member

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    This color map is the most diverse on google.

    [​IMG]
     
  14. Dubious

    Dubious Contributing Member

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    I was a land planner in the 80's and worked on a lot of master planned communities: First Colony, Greatwod, Lake Olympia etc. We just wanted to sell houses and to do that we tried to provide the most desirable neighborhoods we could. Having a community identity, controlling traffic, and having orderly development are parts of that. But no one ever consciously tried to direct racial patterns; however people with more money tend to aggregate to better schools and green space and it takes more money to provide those. So what segregation there is economic. As a business practice you can't provide amenities to low income housing. It has to be denser and rely on public services.

    My experience tells me if you realy look at suburban communities you will find a reasonably integrated neighborhood racially, but yes segregated economically. You have to do that to ensure the value of the associated homes. It has a lot to with the way homes are appraised. Build a million dollar home across the street from a $100K home and you won't sell it for a million dollars.
     
  15. DonnyMost

    DonnyMost not wrong
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    ಠ_ಠ

    Economic segregation and income disparity are really the only things that matter. If people are living separately by race, as long as they're not wallowing in poverty, then it's relatively small potatoes.
     
  16. DFWRocket

    DFWRocket Member

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    I say this all the time - that in Houston, racism is much less a problem than in Dallas. Reason being - Houston is more integrated racially than Dallas. Dallas is VERY racially segregated and when the city council tries to do ANYTHING..there is so much fighting between the north and the south that nothing ever gets accomplished. Houston and Ft. Worth have city councils that can actually pass ordinances and get things done because there is much less of a racial divide.

    The cultural mixture of Houston is one of its greatest assets.
     
  17. wreck

    wreck Contributing Member

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    I didnt even read but this is true. Everyone lives in their own areas. There are different subsets. Yea the city itself is a melting pot when it comes to work environment, but when it comes to housing everyone kind of sticks together.
     
  18. MrRoboto

    MrRoboto Member

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    I think this also has a lot to do with the different ways Dallas and Houston have tackled growth. The zoning of Dallas has proven to be less desirable than the freedom of Houston in respect to growth. Add in the less than explicable Dallas rules in respect to liquor stores and it has exacerbated the social issues they were hoping to address. The liquor stores reside only in the very rich and very poor parts of town.

    There is also more racial tension in Dallas than any city in which I have lived. Never understood it, but it is evident to anyone who has spent much time there.
     
  19. mylilpony

    mylilpony Member

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    tldr. most likely wrong.
     
  20. Depressio

    Depressio Contributing Member

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    Yeah. Naturally, rich folks will live in neighborhoods with higher property values because they can afford it. Income segregation really should be a no-brainer and will always happen.

    This thread's topic is misleading. Segregation typically refers to racial segregation, but the article is clearly talking about income segregation.
     

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