The Atlantic Cities blog recently profiled a study by Professor Mark Ellis and colleagues arguing that US cities are diversifying even as they are becoming increasingly segregated. As colleague Richard Wright of Dartmouth argues, "You can have segregation and diversity in the same place, at the same time". Their research, The Racially Fragmented City? Neighborhood Racial Segregation and Diversity Jointly Considered:
reflects on the racial configuration of urban space. Previous research tends to posit racial segregation and diversity as either endpoints on a continuum of racial dominance or mirror images of one another. Segregation and diversity must be jointly understood and are necessarily related, but in this paper we make the case that the neighborhood geographies of US metropolitan areas are simultaneously and increasingly marked by both racial segregation and racial diversity. We inspect the neighborhood racial structure of several large metropolitan areas for 1990 and 2000 to demonstrate the "both/and"-ness of segregation and diversity.
The project's MixedMetro website explores "the complex patterns of segregation and diversity in these communities shape the lives of the people who call them home. It is designed to help users explore patterns of racial composition in major US metropolitan areas and individual states by state or metro area, and offers lots of maps of urban residential population patterns.