Where are the Black Urbanists?

Urbanism tends to be an interest of a small group: the young, the male, and the pale, according to Kristen E. Jeffers who wants to see more groups and more people of color engaged.

"I didn't realize that this behavior and interest had a name -- urbanism -- until recently. Now, I'm not a hard-core urbanist (Southerners have a natural aversion to paid parking lots and tolls), but still, I'd like to be able to walk around in peace. Bike to a nice full service grocery. Take the bus across town without shame. Get on the train and be in Raleigh in less time than it takes to get down I-40 East.

Problem is, when I look around, I mostly see only one type of person associated with the urbanist label: young, white, and male. Not many young, black, and female, like me. The word "urban," when it's associated with African-Americans, is often synonymous with housing projects, poverty, and the poisoned legacy of urban renewal. Over the years, as various government-sponsored and social ills crept into our neighborhoods, our sense of community died."

Jeffers argues that urbanism isn't just bike lanes and TOD, but rather community-focused issues that people anywhere should be able to relate to or take interest in.

Full Story: Does urbanism have to be black and white?

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