The Philadelphia metro area ranks among the most economically segregated in the country. Compared to less populous areas like, say, Orlando, Portland or San Jose, according to a new report, “Segregated City,” the rich and poor in and surrounding the City of Brotherly Love hardly mix. That’s saying a lot considering the trend over the past few decades, even after the Civil Rights Movement, has been to increasingly sort ourselves by income, education and job. Now, a new $11 million project is testing whether the re-design of five Philadelphia public parks and libraries can help beat back segregation and help rich and poor (and racially diverse*) residents connect with each other. The five parks targeted for re-design, along with their new purpose, according to CityLab:

So, Philadelphia metro residents familiar with these park spaces and surrounding neighborhoods: can this project work? During the 20th century, residential segregation was aided and hardened by the placement of our highways and other roadwork. In the 21st century, can craftily re-designed public spaces in any city help slow the country’s trend towards more not less segregation? 

[*Note: Racial segregation tracks with economic segregation of course but, how, differs by group and their share of population in a metro. In general, and compared to other races, low, middle and upper-income whites tend to interact with each other more, regardless of wealth. See the February report for more.]

(h/t CityLab)