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The Professional Geographer, Volume 67, Issue 2, 282-294, DOI: 10.1080/00330124.2014.935160


This article presents an analysis of representational equity within the Boston Region Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO). MPOs are regional transportation organizations that exert significant influence over state transportation planning and the allocation of funding. The analysis shows that under almost any voting or membership configuration, population representation is correlated with racial and ethnic composition. This outcome is not just a function of the system of representation but also the geography of residential segregation. The results of this analysis highlight the problem of creating systems of equitable representation within the context of preexisting and persistent social inequalities.