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Urban Mapping and Social Class
Author: Terra Wright

Does urban mapping allow city planners to structure cities based on social class? Many people believe that all communities offer the same types of business, such as grocery stores, specialty stores and restaurants no matter the income level in a city, the problem with this is, the statement is not true. In the city of Fayetteville, North Carolina, what is available in one part of the city is not offered in another, why is this? There are two different reasons that could determine why and how this happens, one the business’s are geared to make profits and require a certain type of consumer, and the other is what the needs of the community are. If you look at a particular area in the city of Fayetteville you will see upscale stores, restaurants , if you drive a mere twenty minutes you lose the stores and now are left with convenience marts, that sell a variety of items at a higher price to the people in the area. Is the structure of city and the business’s that are encompassed in it based on social class, profit or both? If you look in what is known as the impoverished part of the city, there are no grocery stores, the people have to rely on these convenience marts , that do not even sell healthy choices, these stores, often in high crime areas; offer cheap alcoholic beverages, processed foods and basic supplies. The restaurants in this area are fast food; there is no fine dining, no specialty stores, which means the choices for the people in the particular area limited. If you go back on the other side of town there is grocery stores, specialty stores, and nice sit down restaurants’, if you look at the people in that area, they have very affluent jobs, the income level and education tends to be higher. The question is , How can urban mapping restructure the city without putting social class limits and bring well rounded business’s to all the people in the city?
Fayetteville State University

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