Citizens are frequently subjected to unfair or discriminatory conditions by local government action (zoning, annexation, targeted police enforcement … see [link]). Recognizing these problems is difficult “on the ground” because of the human scale of our experiences when compared to the geographical scale of the problems. Computer mapping makes many such problems visible but the educational overhead of using GIS software prevents ready access of this information. We would like a ‘Discrimination Finder’ tool that can identify inequitable distributions of minority populations in relationship to any landscape feature — buffers around landfills, less-favorable zoning, police stops, etc. This tool can have an impact in research, formal legal action, and community support.
- Citizens identify spatial features – points, areas, etc. – and the tool returns a report about the possible discriminatory impact — perhaps a map of the features and the minority/ethnic/poor demography of the area.
- Statistics of the demography of specifiable areas — 1 mile buffers, etc. — could be returned. Comparative results might be race ratios for a larger area.
- The tool should be accessible to citizens with a high school education.
- Public census data.
- Segregation in America [Article from Slate.com]
Points of Contact
- Prof. Ben Marsh, Dept. of Geography and Environmental Studies, Bucknell University