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  • Mapping tools show Boston’s disparity

    The Boston Globe - 07/12/2015

    Daniel Hartman analyzed different measures of wealth and poverty in Boston for a graduate-level class in visualization technologies at Northeastern University. Using data from the 2009-2013 American Community Survey, he mapped each of the 166 primary Census tracts in Boston, using a number of metrics, including unemployment, rent burden, household income, commute times, home ownership, and families under the poverty level. (See his results at hartman.dj/boston).

    Hartman’s professor for the class, Siqi Zhu, was struck by how the maps revealed an uncannily clean line between the haves and have-nots. The lack of transportation in poor neighborhoods was particularly notable. The longest travel times to work were concentrated in Dorchester, Roxbury, and Mattapan — areas, Zhu noted, where many people work in low-paying service jobs that are not easily reachable by public transit.

    “The system is set up for people traveling downtown,” said Zhu, who is also an urban planner at the Boston firm Utile. “That’s a very white-collar conception of home-to-work.”

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