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Abstract

This paper analyzes households’ perceptions of neighborhoods according to Brown and Chung’s framework of Market-Led Pluralism (M-LP). Using household survey responses from 100 respondents in Columbus, Ohio and Milwaukee, Wisconsin, I empirically test MLP’s utility in understanding consumers’ decision making processes on where to live and who to live with. Consumers from all races/ethnicities ranked these attributes similarly, closely aligning with the M-LP. The quality of schools, safety of neighborhoods, price and affordability generally mattered to all consumers. However, African Americans’ perceptions of certain attributes as more valuable than others’ are likely due to their lower socio-economic status and the historical factors. Many of these findings, though, get more streamlined along conventional perceptions of races and ethnicities, especially when situated within the person-specific responses gathered in open-ended interviews, which have not been reported here. At a broader scale, though, a majority of responses align well with the M-LP. This analysis also points toward the problem that lies not in the way various developments are planned and executed, but the missing links that limit the growth of a dynamic urban system in certain locations. A master-plan community developed in collaboration with the city can promote diversity/intermixing and create a sustainable community.

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