Neighborhood Stability and Change in Metropolitan Baltimore

Project: Research project

Description

Cities are highly dynamic systems (Knox 2008). Intense concentrations of human, social, financial, and natural capital create opportunities for innovation, exchange, and activity that drive urbanization (Kim and Short 2008). Remarkable growth of cities during the last century in the United States created an urban out of a longstanding rural nation. By 1920, half of the population lived in cities, and now 84 percent of Americans live in metropolitan areas (US Census Bureau 2010). A defining characteristic of cities in the last half century is the continued growth of suburbs. In Baltimore, the citys population has declined since 1950 while the suburbs have continued to expand. In 2010, Baltimore Citys population stood at 640,000 while the surrounding counties grew to 2 million. Despite rapid growth of metropolitan areas, some neighborhoods remain remarkably stable in population and housing characteristics while others undergo frequent change (Massey et al. 2009). Persistence and change in neighborhoods has important implications for social capital, sense of place, community integration, and stakeholder engagement, all of which are tied to the ability to envision and carry out sustainability goals (Gibson 2006). Vulnerability and resilience research also demonstrates that stable communities with high social capital may be better equipped to adapt to future regime shifts, such as climate change (Eakin and Luers 2006). This research plans to measure and explain rates of stability and change in Baltimore neighborhoods over the long term, from 1940 to the present. Using census and other data sources, we will generate a geodatabase of population and housing characteristics at 10-year intervals from 1940 to 2000, and 3 year intervals from 2000 to 2010 using the American Community Survey. Significant drivers of land use change (zoning, transportation, redlining) will be digitized where necessary and incorporated into the geodatabase. Changes in environmental amenities and disamenities will be mapped by neighborhood and incorporated into the GIS. The final database will be used to examine explanatory drivers of neighborhood stability and change in Metropolitan Baltimore. Such analyses will allow us to examine linkages between social and ecological dynamics in Baltimore over the long term, the central theme of the Baltimore Ecosystem Study. The findings will be important to our mission-oriented partners as they seek to find ways to build vibrant, resilient communities in the Baltimore region.
StatusFinished
Effective start/end date8/25/118/29/16

Funding

  • USDA: Forest Service (FS): $63,014.00

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social capital
metropolitan area
census
sense of place
natural capital
amenity
zoning
land use change
urbanization
vulnerability
stakeholder
innovation
persistence
GIS
sustainability
climate change
city
ecosystem
suburb
plan