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The Argument on Residential Racial Segregation

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Public housing programs and urban renewal projects were instituted, which all had the net effect of causing manufacturing jobs to move out of the inner city areas, leading to the phenomenon referred to as “ urban sprawl” .The phenomenon of urban sprawl has been an ongoing feature of the American environment; it has resulted mainly out of the shifting of jobs in areas located far away from cities. Due to the lack of availability of transportation to these far out areas, poor blacks and Hispanics were not able to access better, higher paid jobs located out in the suborns and became confined to the inner city areas, where their poverty and lack of opportunities in employment became a vicious cycle.

Powell (2000) points out that in the year 1970, only 25% of the nation’ s offices were located in the suburbs, but that figure has been escalating rapidly, so that in the present day, it is more than 60%; drawing away jobs and people with the means to travel away from the inner city areas. Orfield (1999) has argued that the net result of this phenomenon he refers to as white flight is the development of an isolated group of blacks and Hispanics from lower socio-economic backgrounds, who remain trapped in inner-city areas where jobs become increasingly scarce and their poverty is exacerbated by falling property values and lack of availability of credit.

Denton and Massey (1991), in describing the process of development of residential racial segregation have shown how white flight from an inner city area tends to produce a condition where more blacks start moving into those neighborhoods until they have completely taken it over, aggregating them into these inner-city pockets.

Powell (2000) further argues that the property values start to drop in such areas, mortgages become more difficult to get and developers are less interested in investing into improvements in such areas. Trapped in a vicious cycle of poverty and lack of availability of any means to get themselves out of it, including the restrictions due to lack of transportation.  

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