How Chicago skewed northwest
A recent article by John C. Hudson in the Chicago Sun-Times discusses how race and class “skewed the city’s grand symmetrical plans by, in essence, confining the growth of black residential neighborhoods to a single swath that expanded southward, east of State Street—commonly known as the black belt. … That growing imbalance between the North and South sides of Chicago was replicated in the city’s suburbs. … Since World War II, the expansion of Chicago’s suburbs and industry began to tilt northward, with growth reduced in any place likely to be in the expansion path of the black population.”
Today “the residential patterns of African-American households, at least for those in the upper-income bracket, finally are beginning to look more like those of other racial and ethnic groups.” However the northwest skew of Chicagoland “is bound to affect life in Chicago for decades to come.”
Hudson is the author of Chicago: A Geography of the City and Its Region, the first geography of the Windy City in more than fifty years.