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Hosted by the Program on Chinese Cities (PCC)

11/16/2023 3:00 PM-4:00 PM

Presenter: Xijing Li

Doctor, DCRP, UNC

Advisor: Prof. Yan Song DCRP, UNC

Project advisor: Prof. Andrew Whittemore, DCRP, UNC


This seminar presentation explores two critical dimensions of urban development and environmental equity through the lens of historical and contemporary policies in Charlotte North Carolina. The first part of the presentation delves into the legacy of the Home Owners” Loan Corporation (HOLC) City Survey maps, scrutinizing their role in shaping the socioeconomic and demographic trajectories of neighborhoods from 1940 to 1960. Employing linear regression models and geographical regression discontinuity design, it investigates how the HOLC’s ‘GradeD’ designation influenced the increase of African-American households in designated areas. exacerbating disparities in housing conditions and economic opportunities. The second part shifts focus to the urban heat island phenomenon, a consequence of rapid urbanization, and its implications for environmental equity. Utilizing the Heat Mitigation Framework, the study examines the effectiveness of heat mitigation policies in Charlotte’s city center, considering the historical context of redlining policies and urbanization trends. By analyzing multi-source data over 20 years, it assesses the impact of these policies on heat exposure and their distributional effects on heat-vulnerable groups. The presentation underscores the interconnectedness of historical urban planning decisions and current climate adaptation strategies, emphasizing the importance of considering environmental equity in sustainable urban development. The findings from both studies collectively highlight the need for inclusive and comprehensive approaches in urban planning to address the enduring effects of historical discrimination and to ensure equitable outcomes in the face of climate change challenges.


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