Research on alcohol outlet density consistently shows greater disparities in exposure in disinvested communities. Likewise, structural racism via discriminatory housing practices has created many of the issues that beset contemporary disinvested neighborhoods. Little work, however, has examined the relationship between housing practices and alcohol outlet disparities. The central premise of our work is that these discriminatory and inequitable practices create distinctions in the alcohol environment, and that such disparities have implications for work on alcohol policy. Here we link alcohol outlet density with a spatial database examining redlining, blockbusting, and gentrification in Baltimore, Maryland, and Flint, Michigan (two cities with common experiences of urban disinvestment over the last 50 years). Standard measures are used to account for the impacts of neighborhood racial, socioeconomic, and housing composition in a multilevel model. Our findings highlight that gentrification and redlining are strongly associated with alcohol outlet density, while blockbusting is not. Gentrification and redlining also frequently co-occur in inner-urban areas, while the more suburban phenomenon of blockbusting rarely overlaps with either. These findings further contextualize nascent work on structural racism in housing that illustrates important disparities along the lines of these distinct practices. Future work should consider how legacy impacts of discriminatory housing patterns impact our communities today.
- Food environments
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Geography, Planning and Development