Tapping the new gold mines: extractive urbanism and neighborhood change in the university city




Foote, Nathan S.

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Cities are not homogeneous entities composed of the same demographic and structural characteristics, such as age, race, and housing, spread evenly across their geographies; rather, cities are uneven, with different concentrations of racial groups and housing types scattered across their spaces. These concentrations also change over time, adding another layer of complexity to the urban fabric. Urban planners interested in community engagement and development need to understand how and why these changes occur in order to know which neighborhoods are most in need, and how best to bring about socially just and equitable changes. This thesis aids in that understanding by offering a quantitative and qualitative study of neighborhood change in three "University Cities". Using partitional cluster analysis techniques on data from the 1980 through 2010 Censuses, this thesis creates a typology of neighborhoods, defined here as census tracts, in order to demonstrate how neighborhoods in Lubbock, Texas; Lincoln, Nebraska; and Columbia, Missouri have changed over the last thirty years. Based on these results, a set of neighborhoods are selected for further qualitative analysis, which proceeds by examining newspaper articles, as well as government and nonprofit organization documents, in order to provide an understanding of why neighborhood changes have occurred. The concept of extractive urbanism is advanced as one reason for the particular pattern of changes observed in the case study area, and the implications of this idea in relation to social justice is examined.


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extractive urbanism, neighborhood change, social justice, universities



Urban and Regional Planning