Metropolitan segregation can be seen from both micro and macro levels, this divide is apparent through racial segregation across communities and also by examining the outcomes of district and industry zoning. Laden in urban segregation is the process of gentrification, which acts as an agent of change regarding spatial relationships among different social groups. Segregation has always been a component of the urban dynamic, this structure of divide has shifted and metamorphosed as a result of inevitable changes over time. These evolving social, economic and political frameworks must be addressed in order to provide a thorough study of the motives behind segregation, as well as the resulting ramifications.
Zoning is arguably the root of both structural and racial/economic segregation that occurs within a city. The motives behind exclusionary zoning are fueled by the desire to preserve the integrity of specific communities and areas at the expense of one or multiple social groups. This process is more apparent in residential zoning, but the concept can be seen in various urban components, even elements as simple as infrastructure. Federal highways have shown to be a vehicle of segregation by serving as literal boundaries between neighborhoods of different races. These highways support ‘white flight’ and also allow for the ‘flight’ of jobs into the suburbs as well; this phenomenon leaves black and other minority neighborhoods economically deprived as industry begins to