Professor Rebecca Walker's research on racial disparities in property ownership featured in news

March 11, 2024

Professor Rebecca Walker conducted a groundbreaking study linking historic racial discrimination in property ownership to reduced exposure to dangerous heat. Focusing on Minneapolis and its suburbs, the research analyzed the environmental impact of racial covenants in property deeds – clauses preventing the sale or occupancy of properties by people of color. The study utilized a new database from the Mapping Prejudice project and revealed that areas with historical racial covenants had lower temperatures, increased tree canopy, and fewer impervious surfaces. The findings, to be published in Landscape and Urban Planning in May 2024, highlight the long-term consequences of discriminatory policies on environmental inequalities and emphasize the need for comprehensive planning approaches to address these issues. Walker hopes the study will broaden perspectives on segregation geographies and environmental benefits, leading to more inclusive solutions.

Read more in the Illinois News Bureau article, Study: Historic racial covenants in property deeds linked to disparities in exposure to dangerous heat.

Rebecca Walker smiling at the camera in a building
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