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Tuesday, September 28, A.D. 2010
Racial Portrait of Cincinnati

A few days ago, Drudge linked to a Daily Mail article that featured demographic maps of various American cities. Cartographer Eric Fischer created the maps, and you can see many more cities so depicted on his Flickr site, Race and Ethnicity. Here is the tribal dotting for Cincinnati:

Follow the link to the Flickr site where you can look at much larger images; the larger images show the ethnic composition of neighborhoods much better, as the smaller images only allow the dominant ethnicity to show in densely populated areas. Here is the original image.

On his site, Fischer states that he was inspired by Bill Rankin, who runs Radical Cartography. Rankin has a nice section on D.C. Check out his depiction of how chocolaty Chocolate City remains. Click on the site’s image to enlarge it for better viewing.

Looking at it, what strikes me most is how Rock Creek Park effectively divides the racial composition of the city. People casually say that Northwest (the northwest quadrant) is the nicer—whiter—part of town, but the dividing line is not North Capitol Street; it is more like Sixteenth Street and Rock Creek Park. I also find it amusing how Catholic University and Gallaudet are vanilla islands in N.E.

The dark and lovely neighborhood of Crestwood is the brown peninsula jutting westward from Sixteenth Street into Rock Creek Park. This “Gold Coast” area is the historic center of upper class, black Washington, and the houses are gorgeous. Indeed, it is the home turf of recently defeated Mayor Fenty. There is nothing at all like it in Cincinnati, where “nice houses” and “predominantly black neighborhood” only signify a formerly nice neighborhood that has become a slum with cool architecture—imagine Rome in the seventh century, where civilization remains only as a memory in stone. In contrast, Crestwood remains a real community rather than a decaying relic of a dispossessed past.

If you are a map geek—a cartographile, I assume—then enjoy Fischer’s and Rankin’s works.

Posted by Joseph on Tuesday, September 28, A.D. 2010
World | CincinnatiWashingtonPermalink
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