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Redlining’s lasting impacts and green infrastructure in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Slovensky, Aurora (2024) Redlining’s lasting impacts and green infrastructure in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Undergraduate Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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The process of redlining, or exclusionary lending practices based on where an applicant lives, is connected by research to lasting disadvantage in urban neighborhoods. Residential Security Maps produced by the Home Owner’s Loan Corporation (HOLC) provide a lens of understanding lending bias towards different urban neighborhoods. A body of research finds that the HOLC’s system of security grading in these maps coincides with ongoing socio-economic patterns in cities, as well as access to nature. This research based on the city of Pittsburgh uses spatial analysis to examine the relationship between the HOLC’s ranking of neighborhoods and current tree canopy, parks, street bike lanes, and greenways to find how green infrastructure varies between neighborhoods of different security grades. In addition, census data is used to provide snapshots of Pittsburgh’s demographics at around the time of the HOLC survey and the distribution in 2020. ArcGIS software was used to perform descriptive statistics, buffer analysis, overlay analysis, and geoprocessing. The results of the analysis indicate that the greatest marker of environmental inequality along the lines of HOLC districts in Pittsburgh is the lack of tree coverage in lowly-ranked areas compared to areas deemed more desirable. The research did not find that lower-graded areas suffered in terms of parks or bike lanes, which is probably due to the centrality of these resources and many redlined areas. However, it is concerning that redlined neighborhoods have fewer trees, given that trees have proven benefits to communities with access to them.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Slovensky, Auroraals495@pitt.eduals4950009-0001-6163-562X
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairLucas, Susansdl44@pitt.edusdl44
Committee CoChairWang, Chihunagjichw367@pitt.educhw367
Committee MemberRamsey, Michaelmramsey@pitt.edumramsey
Committee MemberBadurek, Christopherchristopher.badurek@cortland.eduNA
Committee MemberCerney, Dawnadlcerney@ysu.eduNA
Date: 23 April 2024
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 15 April 2024
Approval Date: 23 April 2024
Submission Date: 19 April 2024
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 46
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: David C. Frederick Honors College
Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Urban Studies
Degree: BPhil - Bachelor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Undergraduate Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Pittsburgh redlining redlined HOLC residential security map green infrastructure urban greenery urban trees urban tree canopy coverage parks bike lanes equity race spatial analysis
Date Deposited: 23 Apr 2024 15:41
Last Modified: 23 Apr 2024 15:41


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