The Lasting Effects of Redlining in Boston

Creators: Gabrielle Harrison, Nadine Kuhn, Nicholas Zhang, Akshay Thorat, Srikrishna Ram, Jason Kumar and Rudradeep Biswas

Course: Engineering Project Management (Bleakney)

Abstract: This presentation represents the service our group did with the Afrimerican Culture Initiative, Inc. In it, we discuss some of the lasting consequences of redlining in Boston, including food apartheid, educational disparities, and crime/policing patterns. Redlining was a racially and ethnically motivated system of ranking the desirability of neighborhoods from “best” (green-lined areas) to “hazardous” (red-lined areas). These maps were created for every major city in the United States, and were used by banks to determine eligibility for mortgage funds until discriminatory housing practices were made illegal by the Fair Housing Act of 1968. Despite becoming illegal more than 50 years ago, the effects of this discriminatory practice are still present in the built environment today. By analyzing quantifiable parameters, such as distance to fast-food restaurants, test scores, and crime trends, to name a few, we were able to demonstrate a clear difference between historically red-lined and green-lined areas. Green-lined areas were given the resources to grow and develop, while red-lined areas were intentionally restricted. Going forward, it is our hope that these differences be addressed and remedied in an inclusive and equitable manner.

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