Just over a month ago, StatsSA released a study called “Mapping Diversity: an exploration of our social tapestry.” While I didn’t get round to posting about it, it’s taken up an unusual amount of one-on-one conversation time since. And my feeling is: not enough people got to see it.
So here are the highlights:
Here’s Joburg (the most ‘diverse’):
Here’s Cape Town:
And here’s Port Elizabeth (the ‘most segregrated’):
The whole project was based on a similar project done on Chicago, by www.radicalcartography.net:
I mean, clearly, South Africa is not the only country struggling with segregation in its cities.
Here is some more from the US (from the work done by the Demographic Research Group at the Weldon Cooper Centre for Public Service):
And because it’s topical this morning, here’s London (seriously, go and check out Andrew Whitby’s work at his website – these maps come from there):
And the greater UK:
- Clearly, cities tend to be a lot more diverse that outlying areas, even if there’s a tendency toward inner-city segregation – which does seem to suggest that diversity is good for (social) liberalism, seeing as cities are far more likely to lean politically leftward;
- Particularly in South Africa, the signs of apartheid are clear – just look at how far away the ‘townships’ of Cape Town and Port Elizabeth are from the CBD;
- But even so, I think that it’s sometimes hard to draw a line between ‘racial segregation’ and ‘community’. If you look at a city like London, which had large waves of Asian immigrants from the Commonwealth in the middle of the last century, those communities have become entrenched in certain regions of Greater London. But can we really call that pure ‘racial segregation’? Or is it more a case of immigrants choosing to live near family, near their mosques/temples/churches, and near where their friends are?
Just a thought.
Rolling Alpha posts about finance, economics, and sometimes stuff that is only quite loosely related. Follow me on Twitter @RollingAlpha, or like my page on Facebook at www.facebook.com/rollingalpha. Or both.
Borat September 15, 2016 at 02:57
“Clearly, cities tend to be a lot more diverse that outlying areas, even if there’s a tendency toward inner-city segregation – which does seem to suggest that diversity is good for liberalism, seeing as cities are far more likely to lean politically leftward;”
The thing I find somewhat annoying about this statement is that it avoids economic liberalism. Liberalism doesn’t just mean social liberalism or supporting more government spending / increasing the welfare state.
In the UK for example the big cities like London do tend to be more likely to vote Labour rather than Conservative, but from statistics if I remember correctly the divergence across the UK as a whole has narrowed greatly over the years between the two major parties to the point where, if I remember correctly, non-white people are split almost (or trending towards) 50/50 between Labour and Conservative.
Obviously it may be different in the US and SA. But I just want to stress the importance that in the UK, US and other Liberal nations, the two main parties, both left and right, are technically both Liberal parties. The UK and the US are Liberal Democratic Capitalist Economies after-all. Ever heard of the US Libertarians? They’re on the “Right”, and are obviously staunch supporters of Liberalism.
Instead of saying Liberalism you should have said ‘Progressivism’, or ‘Social Democracy’ / ‘Social Liberalism’, this would probably be a more accurate descriptive of what you’re tyring to describe if I interpret what you’re saying correctly.Reply
Jayson September 15, 2016 at 06:57
I agree. Amended!Reply