The Gini Coefficient
This number is measured from 0 to 1 and describes the gap between rich and poor in a given place (the lower the number, the more evenly divided wealth and resources are among all members of that community/inhabitants of that place). This blog post from The Economist (with graphic from research out of CUNY) shows the economic divide both pre and post-tax, showing how much each country does to actively redistribute wealth.
Architecture costs a lot of money, and is paid for either by the people at the top of the wealth divide, by the economic cooperation of groups of varying wealth or by the state (funded by taxes on people all along the spectrum of wealth). It’s hard to subvert this ‘top down’ structure, as almost all development caters to concentrated sources of wealth. Efforts of social impact design or architecture trying to localize funding sources and design solutions. (More on that in a future post.)