Urban Planning in a Multicultural Society

By Michael A. Burayidi | Go to book overview

corresponding racial distribution of out-movers from the tract. Where the racial composition of out-movers is heavily skewed toward one group or another, the tract population will, over time, change in favor of the alternative group, independent of the racial composition of in-movers. Since the market criterion, as constructed here, has no basis in the existing racial proportions of a place, it can seriously misidentify places that are in the process of racial transition, irrespective of the characteristics of market demand.

Galster's criticisms are correct to a degree. The lack of a basis within the market method for monitoring racial proportions suggests that these proportions are unimportant relative to current racial demand and places that would otherwise not be considered as diverse can be categorized as such only on the basis of current inmovers. The rich, White suburb can claim to be diverse because a token number of minority households have moved in! Taking into account the distribution of outmovers, however, does not appear to be a realistic solution. Not only are these data not generally available, but it is highly unlikely that the distribution of out-movers would be so racially skewed while in-movers correspond to expected proportions. In the typical example the continued demand for housing in an area by a majority of Whites is not likely to be matched by excessive White out movement as well; this expectation contradicts the way in which we understand housing markets and the nature of racially based demand. The criticism does suggest, however, that both the comparative and market methods be employed jointly. Thus, diverse places are those that are composed of both Whites and Blacks in appropriate proportions and in which the market operates to secure the long-term stability of the place ( Smith 1998).

Given the emphasis on demonstrating the methodology, I have refrained from a more involved analysis across groups other than non-Hispanic Whites and non- Hispanic Blacks. Clearly, however, the inclusion of Hispanics is warranted, and this is especially so in a state such as Florida where the Hispanic population reaches 13 percent in some counties (and 49% in Dade County). The two methods, however, are not designed to deal with multiple groups at the same time; thus, multiple group analysis must still involve successive two-group comparisons.

In sum, while issues continue to exist, some of them may be readily addressed within the context of a particular analysis. Some of the very thorny problems, however, such as that of constructing an appropriate standard for considering racial and ethnic diversity, may have been moved forward.


NOTES
1.
"Integration" is the preferred term in the context of the literature on race, but "diversity" appears to be the preferred term when dealing with multi-racial and multi-ethnic places. In what follows I will use the latter term except where references to existing literature and techniques clearly argue for the use of integration as the most appropriate.
2.
Split tracts, lying partially in one jurisdiction and partially in another, are classified on the basis of where a majority of the tract population is located.
3.
Florida!s fair housing law was first enacted in 1983.

-253-

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