Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Urban & Regional Planning


Urban and Regional Planning

First Advisor

Michela Zonta


This thesis is an empirical review of neighborhoods in the Richmond Region based on factors of inclusion and quality of life. The research attempts to answer the question of whether or not healthy and inclusive neighborhoods exist in the Richmond Region, and if they do what factors they hold in common. Inclusion and quality of life are identified using census data, school assessment reports, HUD reports, and cause-of-death data applied at the neighborhood level (census tract). This data is used to identify neighborhoods within the Richmond Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) that have a high quality of life and include racial minorities and low-to-moderate income households at a rate that reflects the region as a whole. Finally, the census tracts that fit these criteria are analyzed to determine correlating factors. The analysis determined that inclusive census tracts with a high quality of life tend to be majority-black suburban neighborhoods located near the urban cores or Richmond and Petersburg. These neighborhoods had a mix of housing types, moderate homeownership rates, newer housing options, access to public schools, access to commercial goods and services, and households with moderate incomes. Policies that promote these types of environments will help create and sustain healthy and inclusive neighborhoods.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

August 2012