Strengthening safe spaces for queer people of color in Chicago, Illinois




Thomas, Nicole M.

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With inequity of marginalized communities, there is an increasing need to address areas of growth regarding planning practices in order to be inclusive of all populations while still preserving identity. Many communities are challenged with the perception of not creating culturally welcoming spaces, thus excluding a segment of the population. This thesis analyzes the concentration of same-sex partnership households in Chicago, Illinois' urban neighborhoods. Assessments of variables contributing to disparities in neighborhoods direct considerations and discussion on how they impact queer people of color. The research approach in this thesis consists of qualitative insight from academic practitioners and quantitative analysis of demographic Census data. The analysis demonstrates the need for further research to identify stronger representation of spaces for queer people of color to increase access of resources and quality of life. Recommendations from this analysis results in an new index tool and identifies supporting practices that generate innovation for a multifaceted approach in planning. This approach contributes to stronger economics, equity, and environmental considerations for city growth. The recommendations encourage inclusive planning practices that argue intersectional assessment for safe spaces and preservation of cultural diversity benefits everyone.


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Chicago, People of Color, Planning, Queer, Safe Spaces, Social Equity



Urban and Regional Planning