This introductory chapter defines the concept of thick injustice. It argues that the historical roots of metropolitan injustice, its relation to the structure of local governance in the United States, and its imbrication with physical place make it difficult to see and difficult to assign responsibility for it—and thus difficult to change. It focuses on one particular form of spatial injustice, namely, injustice generated overtime by institutional structures, including structures that segregate metropolitan space by class and race. It aims to help render thick injustice more legible and more tractable in order to put questions of justice back at the center of deliberations about urban politics and policy.
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