The Gray-Green Urban Divide: How Wealth and Poverty are Visible from Space – Geolounge

In many neighborhoods, income’s influence on a neighborhood can manifest itself physically in different ways.  Well paved roads and better maintained buildings are just two signs of a wealthier neighborhood.  The amount of vegetation, even in densely urban areas, can also be a predictor of the relative wealth of a neighborhood.  Known as the “gray-green divide”, the amount of trees and green space can be an indicator of the income level of the neighborhood.

What is the Gray-Green Divide?

The gray in the phrase, “gray-green divide”, refers to the dominant color from roads, sidewalks, and rooftops that strikes the viewer when looking at an aerial or satellite image of a lower-income neighborhood.  In contrast, higher-income neighborhoods tend to have more vegetation in the form of trees and landscaping that provide a “greener” view to the imagery.  The disparity is even more evident when viewing a lower-income neighborhood that back ups to a wealthier one.

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