Recent scholarship has focused extensively on the rise of diverse neighborhoods in U.S. cities. Nevertheless, the theoretical frameworks we have for describing residential settlement patterns generally treat diversity as an unstable and transitory period that is the product of a unidirectional pressure towards segregation. In our analysis of six diverse neighborhoods in Southeast Seattle, we find evidence of processes at multiple scales that not only maintain diversity, but actually reinforce it. From individual decisions about property ownership to broader patterns of regional disinvestment, we find empirical evidence that indicates a need for a more complex theorization of the processes that create and sustain diverse neighborhoods. In our preliminary theorization of these conditions, we call for a conceptualization of residential settlement patterns that is explicitly multiscalar and recognizes a wider range of cultural, economic, and political relations as central to the production of observed patterns of neighborhood settlement.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Urban Studies