David M. Smith

Articles

Inequality in the American City: Some evidence from the South

David M. Smith, Stephen Pile

Geographia Polonica (1993) vol. 61, pp. 433-448 | Full text

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Abstract:

The economic and political progress of black people in the United Statesin recent years could invite the expectation that the American city will have becomemore equal, in a racial and spatial sense. Evidence from selected cities in part of theSouth shows that this is not the case. In the four cities studied there was a wideningof the gap between predominantly white and predominantly black residential areasbetween 1960 and 1980. There was also an increase in inequality among thepredominantly black tracts, with the upward and outward mobility of the affluentwhile the poor remained trapped in inner-city poverty. Trends in individual cities aresubject to some differences, however, which can in part be attributed to the localextent of political and economic empowerment of the black population.

Keywords: America, blacks, cities, inequality, race

David M. Smith, Department of Geography, Queen Mary and Westfield College, University of London, London, United Kingdom
Stephen Pile, School of Geography and Planning, Middlesex Polytechnic, Middlesex, United Kingdom

State planning and spatial policy in South Africa

David M. Smith

Geographia Polonica (1989) vol. 56, pp. 29-42 | Full text

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Abstract:

Consideration of spatial policy on the part of national governments is usually predicated on the assumption that state planning is directed towards some general welfare objectives. While any planning strategy is likely to benefit some people in some places more than others elsewhere, it is not often recognised that the beneficiaries of spatial policy may be a small and perhaps unrepresentative minority. It is even less frequently the case that state planning and spatial policy has as its objective the perpetuation of some form of society which most if not all other nations find morally repugnant, but such is the case with South Africa under apartheid. In these circumstances, South Africa provides an unusual as well as an interesting illustration of state planning with a strong spatial component, with important implications for the process of uneven development in this deeply troubled land.Core-periphery differentiation is a repetitive feature of uneven development within nations. However, the manner in which core and periphery are related is subject to considerable variation, reflecting the historic process of development as well as specific contemporary economic, political, social and cultural conditions. This paper takes the case of South Africa to show how core and periphery are drawn into a distinctive relationship under the government's apartheid policy. It will be shown that black labour supply is the key to understanding the particular form of domination of periphery by core in a country where uneven development has strong racial overtones. Some specific outcomes expressed in the process of urbanization will also be examined, and there are some concluding observations on the significance of the present phase of "unrest".

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David M. Smith, Department of Geography, Queen Mary and Westfield College, University of London, London, United Kingdom

Social aspects of urban problems: inequality in the American city. The case of Atlanta, Georgia, 1960-1980

David M. Smith

Geographia Polonica (1985) vol. 51, pp. 65-84 | Full text

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Abstract:

Tlis paper seeks to answer the question of whether race-space inequality in living standirds has decreased or increased over the two decades 1960-1980, for a single city, "he city chosen is Atlanta, Georgia. While typical of metropolitan America in many respects, Atlanta has some special features which give it a particular interest and sgnificance as a case study of trends in inequality by race and residential space.

Atlanta is popularly viewed as a prosperous symbol of the economic vitality and civic enlightenment of the so-called 'new South', it has a black middle class going back three or more generations, and since 1973 it has had a black mayor. Conditions in Atlanta might therefore be considered especially conducive to black advancement, and to the reduction of inequality insofar as this is a product of racial discrimination. The fact that the period under review covers the change from white to black power in a formal political sense adds further interest.

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David M. Smith, Department of Geography, Queen Mary and Westfield College, University of London, London, United Kingdom