Anti-Racism at the Neighborhood Level

Communities across the country need to dismantle exclusionary barriers and rebalance spending to invest more equitably across neighborhoods, according to this article by the Urban Institute.

1 minute read

June 24, 2020, 10:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

Protesting racism

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"The past several weeks and months have made painfully apparent the ways in which structural racism destroys lives and livelihoods and holds us back as a nation," according to an article by Margery Austin Turner and Solomon Greene. 

We have seen communities of color ravaged by both the health risks and economic fallout of the COVID-19 crisis and how police violence tracks stubborn patterns of segregation and disinvestment from Black and brown neighborhoods. If Americans of goodwill genuinely desire to tear down the systems and institutions that sustain racial injustice and inequity, we should start by reimagining the neighborhoods where we live.

Much of the discussion about systemic racism in intersection with planning and urbanism has focused on issues of safety in the public realm and the effects of exclusionary zoning and discriminatory real estate practices, this article brings the focus to the cultural and social importance of neighborhoods.

The fact that many families of color live in neighborhoods "suffering from disinvestment, deprived of quality services and amenities, and endangered by overpolicing" didn't happen by accident, according to Turner and Greene.

In response, the duo suggest a new, ambitious program of investment in underserved neighborhoods, as well as the new scale of collaboration necessary to achieve those goals.

Friday, June 19, 2020 in Urban Institute

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