Environment as Politics

Environment as politics
The Open Workshop

One lesson of the U.S. presidential election is that we should forget about red and blue states, North and South, coastal coffeeshops and heartland diners. The geographic divide in American politics is closer to home. If you want to predict how someone will vote, ask, How near are your neighbors?

Residential density has long played a role in shaping American politics. In the recent election, 49 of the 50 highest density counties voted for Hillary Clinton, and 48 of the 50 lowest density counties chose Donald Trump (nearly the same split as for Barack Obama and Mitt Romney four years earlier). In “blue” California, the agricultural towns of the Central Valley swayed Republican, while in “red” Texas the big cities voted Democratic. Across the spectrum of purple hues, a high-resolution map of population density closely matches voting results.

There are reasons for this that go beyond identity politics. Urban density has social and economic advantages that make cities attractive to liberals and that also condition liberal values over time. Living among diverse neighbors can reduce fear and resentment, as everyday interactions break down stereotypes and misconceptions of ‘the other.’ (Which is not to ignore that cities have their own problems with racial and economic segregation.)

One recent study compared voters who switched from Obama to Trump with those who switched from Romney to Not-Trump. Controlling for “age, race, education, income, gender, party identification, concern about rising immigration, racial resentment, and worries about personal finances,” the authors found that a vote for Trump was correlated with fear of rising diversity. They concluded that the election was a “clash over the openness of society,” which may explain why cities produce liberal voters. Density politics is arguably at the core of racial acceptance. […]

Aline Chahine
Aline is an international licensed architect currently practicing in Canada, she is the reason you are reading this right now, Aline founded the platform back in 2008 shaping the very foundation of Architecture Lab, her exemplary content curation process that defines the online magazine today.
Aline Chahine
Aline Chahine
Aline is an international licensed architect currently practicing in Canada, she is the reason you are reading this right now, Aline founded the platform back in 2008 shaping the very foundation of Architecture Lab, her exemplary content curation process that defines the online magazine today. Highlights Aline founded Architecture Lab in 2008 Lead editor of dan | dailyarchnews since 2019 Founded and Creative Director of DesignRaid Licensed architect with creative sales and marketing experience Experience As full-fledged architect, Aline's background involved a great deal of research that lead to the creation of Architecture Lab as an online database of exemplary design. Her experience snowballed into founding two architecture platforms, Architecture Lab and DesignRaid. Education Aline received USEK’s Master of Architecture in 2004 and BA in English from the University of Toronto
TITLE | Founder of Architecture Lab
About Architecture Lab Architecture Lab is a MKR.S Media brand, a website devoted to extraordinary design and aesthetics aiming to promote exceptional aesthetic values and sustainable design in all it's shapes and sizes. Learn more about us and our editorial process and feel free to contact us if you would like to see something in particular on the website, our certified experts will get back to you with the most trustworthy advice as soon as possible. Read all articles by Aline | Follow her on LinkedIn

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