American Academy Blog

Human Environment and Community Evolution

January 22, 2015 at 10:58 am Comments are off for this post

With progress in our nation’s communities and cities and the mobility of the millennial generation , also comes the gentrification of many neighborhoods. The introduction of new services and stores and housing can bring new prosperity to an area but can also “push” preexisting populations out and contribute to gaps between classes and racial and ethnic groups. This issues is obviously not new, considering the colonization of America and the treatment towards Native people as a result. GIS mapping and national census and surveys provide us with part of the picture of our nation’s development and evolution, but we need to understand more. How do neighborhoods and communities evolve? Are there patterns? How can the U.S. promote economic progress without displacing other groups? Social work’s collaboration with engineering, architecture, and geoscience could shape how innovative tools, like GIS, could be used to answer these questions and identify strategic ways to improve our communities without harming others.