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Neighborhood

  • By: Michael R. Greenberg
  • In: Encyclopedia of Geography
  • Edited by: Barney Warf
  • Subject:General Geography, Earth & Environmental Science

A neighborhood is a geographical entity located within a county, city, town, borough, or other local government political unit. Neighborhoods are not official political constructions, yet many have widely used popular names. For example, in Philadelphia, there is the “Northside,” “South-side,” and “Triangle” neighborhoods. The U.S. Bureau of the Census has tried to capture the neighborhood concept by creating census tracts, which are submunicipal areas of 1,500 to 8,000 people (typically about 4,000) that are considered relatively homogeneous with regard to demographic, housing, and economic characteristics. Census tracts have been created for almost every metropolitan area and for some nonmetropolitan areas. Local elected officials recognize the importance of neighborhoods, and hence many municipal governments have submetropolitan political districts called wards. Each ward has a neighborhood ...

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