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The Terrain of Spatial Justice

September 7, 2023

Racism is built into places. It shapes who can live where, how resources are distributed, who gets a say over what happens in places, and more. Places in the United States reflect, perpetuate, and amplify the racism that structures US society. Creating a racially just society requires creating a spatially just society—a society that advances racial justice within and between places.

This report begins with a brief explanation of cultural mindsets and a short description of the research conducted for this project. We then discuss four “target opinions”—four fundamental beliefs and attitudes that lie at the heart of spatial justice. These are opinions that people must hold to support the idea of spatial justice.

The rest of the report offers a deep dive into cultural mindsets of place, race, and their relationship. These findings provide important nuance and information about which aspects of identity and experience matter most for people’s thinking about spatial justice while reinforcing that people’s thinking isn’t a reflection of any one identity.

This report is accompanied by a short strategic brief, which presents four key insights from this research and discusses their implications for how we communicate about spatial justice.