On December 17, Fellows joined us for drinks and discussion on how historic racial planning policies produced the spatial inequalities of New York City today.

Throughout New York City’s history, racist urban design has given form to many of the spatial inequalities that exist today. Redlining and urban renewal, reinforced by histories of racial zoning, exploited the built environment to produce dramatic racial wealth gaps across our cities. Black and immigrant communities were deemed risky and targeted for failure, leading to divestment, segregation, and an uneven urban fabric.

Decades later, housing precarity and environmental burdens persist in the same communities. Neighborhoods that experienced historic neglect are also now bearing the brunt of new growth, while zoning and landmark protections impede development in predominantly white neighborhoods with high homeownership rates. How do we “undesign” the legacy of exclusion that has shaped the inequalities that remain today?

April De Simone gave a tour of the ‘Undesign the Redline’ exhibition, followed by a discussion with Jacob William Faber, Peggy Shepard, and Pablo Zevallos on racial economic inequality, fair housing, and environmental racism.


Event Photos ↓


Guest Policy ↓

The Urban Design Forum promotes conversation between invited civic leaders, designers, developers and advocates. Attendance is restricted to Forum Fellows and their guests. Learn more about becoming a Fellow.


Our Sponsors ↓

This program is made possible through the support of Citi Community Development and our Director’s Circle and Fellows.

Shape our year-long inquiry and promote conversation between our Fellows and invited decision-makers on developing a progressive agenda for the built environment. To learn more, please contact Daniel McPhee, Executive Director, 646-928-0553, daniel@urbandesignforum.org.


About Shape Shift

Ruled Out is the third event for our Shape Shift series, a year-long inquiry into the current state of planning in New York City. As we approach the mayoral election cycle, the Forum will revisit historic planning shifts, survey international cities, and debate alternative approaches on ways the next mayor should shape the built environment to build a more equitable city.


Image Credit ↓

National Archives and Records Administration