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Public Impact

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Stories that feature our work amongst our communities in New York, the US, and the world, and invitations to join the change we're making to the world of work.

Erasing Red Lines: Part 1 - Geographies of Discrimination

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Russell Weaver

ILR's quantitative geographer and director of research at the Cornell Buffalo Co-Lab, Russell Weaver, wrote a series examining the roots of economic distress in Buffalo.

The abstract follows, and you can find the full piece on the Cornell eCommons.


"Since at least the 1930s, the City of Buffalo, New York has been spatially and socially divided. While certain mixed use and residential communities across the map have shown remarkable resilience—and thrived—during the City’s history of deindustrialization and population loss, many communities of color on Buffalo’s East and West Sides have experienced persistent and increasing levels of distress. This series of brief reports examines those patterns and engages with strategies for reinvesting in chronically distressed communities. This report is Part 1 of a threepart series that examines the roots and spatial patterns of economic distress in the City of Buffalo, NY, and engages with strategies for reinvestment in the City’s chronically distressed neighborhoods. The series is adapted from a collection of peer-reviewed articles and books listed in the “Further Reading” section at the end of each report. Part 1 of the series briefly and selectively introduces readers to the history and empirical evidence of urban decline in the postindustrial United States generally, and in the City of Buffalo specifically. The report provides background definitions, highlights spatial patterns, and summarizes findings from data analyses."