A long history of overt discrimination left an enduring racialized imprint upon the geography of the East Bay. While the benefits of a metropolitan decentralization of jobs, housing, and public investment fell to Whites, discrimination in employment and housing trapped African Americans in urban neighborhoods burdened by infrastructure encroachment and divestment. By circa 1970, overt discrimination succumbed to new, racially neutral, legal, and administrative forms, including regional planning processes. Using an environmental racism framework, we show that these new forms reproduced the existing racialized geography by means of new inequalities in representation and transportation service provision. These new regional transportation policies, like those challenged by a 2005 civil rights lawsuit, favored the mobility needs of more affluent suburbanites over those of African American East Bay bus riders. These policies, layered onto an existing racialized geography, reinforced existing inequalities by failing to address racial barriers to opportunity in the built environment.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geography, Planning and Development
- Urban Studies