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A Little-Known Benchmark of Planning Law

The case of Buchanan v. Warley, decided in 1916, set an important precedent: it forbade zoning restrictions based on race.
April 16, 2011, 5am PDT | Tim Halbur
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Leonardo Vasquez, a professor at Rutgers University, says he isn't surprised if you've never heard of the case:

"The histories of urban planning we learn in school often tell an an untarnished story of early planners bringing order to the chaos of the early 20th century. Buchanan v. Warley reminds us that while land use regulations were doing good in some cities, they were also being used to deny African-Americans in the south (and Chinese-Americans in California) full and fair rights and opportunities."

The case happened in Louisville, Kentucky. The city created an ordinance that prevented African-Americans from moving into neighborhoods that were majority White, and vice-versa. Legal action ensued, as Vasquez documents.

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Published on Monday, April 11, 2011 in PDI Advisor
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