'Atlas Of Inequality' shows income segregation around Boston

By Benjamin Swasey

At one coffeshop in Boston, near Hynes Convention Center, visitors come from a variety of income levels. But at a second coffeehouse, a mere 2-minute walk away, people are almost exclusively from the metro area's lowest income bracket.

The stark divergence is highlighted by researchers behind a new MIT Media Lab project that shows income inequality is about more than just where people live; it's also about where they shop, eat and spend their free time.

"Although we may get our daily coffee on the same city block, the specific places we're in — and the people around us — can be radically different," the researchers write on the Atlas of Inequality website.

"We want to raise the point that segregation is happening at very short [distances], like even just 25 meters, just across the street," said Esteban Moro, of MIT and the University Carlos III of Madrid, and one of the initiative's principal investigators.

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