Event Title

An Analysis of Methodology: Quantifying the Effects of Redistricting and the Spatial Relationship of Minority Communities to Brownfields in Cook County, Illinois

Location

SU 003

Department

Geography and Environmental Studies

Abstract

Cook County is well-known for its racial and ethnic diversity and for its hazardous waste facilities contaminating the environment, posing serious risks to human health. This study builds off a nation-wide study and presents a methodology used to measure the relationships between minority populations in the Voting Rights commissioner districts and brownfield locations within Cook County, Illinois. This analysis observes methods previously used to measure these variables on the continental U.S. scale and adapts them for use on the county-scale, using geographic information systems (GIS) to identify spatial relationships between minority populations, commissioner district shape, and brownfield locations. At the commissioner district level, it is clear that the majority Black districts contain more brownfields than any other race/ethnicity in this study with 14% of the Black population in Cook County living within 0.5 miles of a brownfield. The regression models on the district level show no significant correlation of district complexity to the number of brownfields within each district. However, at the census block level, the regression models show a trend that indicates higher percentages of the Black and Hispanic populations as distance to the closest brownfield decreases, and higher percentages of the White population as distance to the closest brownfield increases. This research adds to the literature in that it attempts to fill research gaps that appear when looking at more local scales. Specifically, the single topic of measuring the spatial dispersion of minority communities, brownfields, and district boundaries all in one study lacks in the literature on the county-wide scale.

Faculty Sponsor

Erick Howenstine, Northeastern Illinois University

Faculty Sponsor

Dennis Grammenos, Northeastern Illinois University

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May 6th, 11:40 AM

An Analysis of Methodology: Quantifying the Effects of Redistricting and the Spatial Relationship of Minority Communities to Brownfields in Cook County, Illinois

SU 003

Cook County is well-known for its racial and ethnic diversity and for its hazardous waste facilities contaminating the environment, posing serious risks to human health. This study builds off a nation-wide study and presents a methodology used to measure the relationships between minority populations in the Voting Rights commissioner districts and brownfield locations within Cook County, Illinois. This analysis observes methods previously used to measure these variables on the continental U.S. scale and adapts them for use on the county-scale, using geographic information systems (GIS) to identify spatial relationships between minority populations, commissioner district shape, and brownfield locations. At the commissioner district level, it is clear that the majority Black districts contain more brownfields than any other race/ethnicity in this study with 14% of the Black population in Cook County living within 0.5 miles of a brownfield. The regression models on the district level show no significant correlation of district complexity to the number of brownfields within each district. However, at the census block level, the regression models show a trend that indicates higher percentages of the Black and Hispanic populations as distance to the closest brownfield decreases, and higher percentages of the White population as distance to the closest brownfield increases. This research adds to the literature in that it attempts to fill research gaps that appear when looking at more local scales. Specifically, the single topic of measuring the spatial dispersion of minority communities, brownfields, and district boundaries all in one study lacks in the literature on the county-wide scale.