Journal Article

The Promises and Perils of Racial Equity Planning

Abstract: This article considers the use of racial equity analysis, or racial equity planning, as a tool to remedy the inequality that has been structured into the built environment through past and ongoing discriminatory and racially insensitive land use regulations and planning. It describes the history of land use planning in the United States, the resulting legacy of exclusionary practices, and the need to explicitly address racial inequities in American cities by considering the impacts of large-scale planning projects. As an illustration, the author describes a racial disparity report that studied the likely effects of a proposed development in the Gowanus neighborhood of Brooklyn, N.Y. The article also discusses the promise, limitations, and possible unintended consequences of racial equity planning, including NIMBYism and the use of studies to thwart development generally.

Keywords: Gowanus redevelopment; land use planning; racial equity; racial equity planning; zoning;

JEL Classification: J15; O18; R31;

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Bibliographic Information

Provider: Federal Reserve Bank of New York

Part of Series: Economic Policy Review

Publication Date: 2023-10-01

Volume: 29

Issue: 2

Pages: 75-87