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Cityscape: Volume 15 Number 1 | Article 18


Climate Change and City Hall

Volume 15 Number 1

Mark D. Shroder
Michelle P. Matuga

Graphic Detail: Race and Refinancing During the Bubble in the Baltimore and Washington Metropolitan Region

Ron Wilson, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

Graphic Detail

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) organize and clarify the patterns of human activities on the Earth’s surface and their interaction with each other. GIS data, in the form of maps, can quickly and powerfully convey relationships to policymakers and the public. This department of Cityscape includes maps that convey important housing or community development policy issues or solutions. If you have made such a map and are willing to share it in a future issue of Cityscape, please contact

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not represent the official positions or policies of the Office of Policy Development and Research or the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.


The map in exhibit 1 depicts geographic differences in the ratio of house-purchase loans to home-refinance loans in 2006, during the height of the housing bubble. Purchases and refinances serve different purposes. New house purchases suggest mobility and home refinances suggest stability. The map contrasts these patterns with the geographic distribution of the African-American and White populations at the census tract level in the Baltimore and Washington, DC region.

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