How Race Shapes the American City
From public spaces to mass transit, housing to architecture, American cities have rarely been reflective of the people who live there.
Pocket CollectionsAric Jenkins
Decades of discriminatory policy and planning decisions have kept many American urban centers segregated and inequitable. In this curated reading list, Fortune staff writer Aric Jenkins examines how race continues to shape the design and infrastructure of American cities—from public spaces to mass transit, housing to architecture—and considers solutions to help make cities more reflective of the people who live there.
America’s Cities Were Designed to Oppress
Bryan Lee Jr.CityLab
Architects and planners have an obligation to protect health, safety and welfare through the spaces we design. As the George Floyd protests reveal, we’ve failed.
The Latent Racism of the Better Homes in America Program
Manisha ClaireJSTOR Daily
How Better Homes in America—a collaboration between Herbert Hoover and the editor of a conservative women’s magazine—promoted idealized whiteness.
The Criminalization of Gentrifying Neighborhoods
Abdallah FayyadThe Atlantic
Areas that are changing economically often draw more police—creating conditions for more surveillance and more potential misconduct.
Whose Streets? Black Streets
Amina YasinThe Tyee
Planners and urbanists, it’s time to reckon with the racism rampant in city building. Here are four actions to take.
America’s Unfair Rules of the Road
Corinne RameySlate
How our transportation system discriminates against the most vulnerable.
Urban Density: Confronting the Distance Between Desire and Disparity
Jay PitterAzure
Placemaker and author Jay Pitter argues for an equity-based understanding of urban density during the COVID-19 crisis and beyond.
America Is More Diverse Than Ever—But Still Segregated
Aaron WilliamsArmand EmamdjomehThe Washington Post
The United States is on track to be a majority-minority nation by 2044. But Census data show most of our neighbors are the same race.
Nine Ideas for Making Our City’s Public Space More Race Equitable
Carolina A. MirandaLos Angeles Times
Conversations in the world of design and urban planning can often get tied up on issues such as bike lanes and height limits, without considering the larger inequities our cities perpetuate — such as the ways in which the public space is policed.
Un-Making Architecture
Wai Architecture Think Tank
An anti-racist architecture manifesto.
Aric Jenkins
Aric Jenkins is a staff writer at Fortune magazine, where he has covered transportation and infrastructure and edits the raceAhead newsletter on culture and diversity in corporate America. In late 2019, his magazine feature examined Airbnb and its struggles expanding into cities and new businesses. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, Time, Newsweek, and more. Aric lives in Brooklyn, New York.
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