5280: Emanuel Martínez Brought Muralism to Denver. Now, Gentrification Threatens His Art

5280, September 27, 2021, Emanuel Martínez Brought Muralism to Denver. Now, Gentrification Threatens His Art

Emanuel Martínez, famous for popularizing mural art in Denver, now faces the risk of having some of his best work being destroyed. His work adorns the walls of various buildings in some of Denver’s oldest and most historic neighborhoods, which were primarily inhabited by people of color in years past.

Now, with the recent push towards gentrification, Martinez’s art is potentially at risk of being lost, as private developers are all to eager to tear down old buildings in hopes of building new properties that will house art galleries, cafes and eateries. This comes as no surprise in light of a 2020 study conducted by the National Community Reinvestment Coalition which concluded that Denver is the “second-most gentrified city in America”.

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Redlining and Neighborhood Health

Before the pandemic devastated minority communities, banks and government officials starved them of capital.

Lower-income and minority neighborhoods that were intentionally cut off from lending and investment decades ago today suffer not only from reduced wealth and greater poverty, but from lower life expectancy and higher prevalence of chronic diseases that are risk factors for poor outcomes from COVID-19, a new study shows.

The new study, from the National Community Reinvestment Coalition (NCRC) with researchers from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee Joseph J. Zilber School of Public Health and the University of Richmond’s Digital Scholarship Lab, compared 1930’s maps of government-sanctioned lending discrimination zones with current census and public health data.

Table of Content

  • Executive Summary
  • Introduction
  • Redlining, the HOLC Maps and Segregation
  • Segregation, Public Health and COVID-19
  • Methods
  • Results
  • Discussion
  • Conclusion and Policy Recommendations
  • Citations
  • Appendix

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