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Racializing Space: Why does the American city remain so spatially and racially divided?

Panel discussion with Robert Fishman, Karyn Lacy, LaDale Winling, moderated by Myles Zhang.

Why does the American city remain so spatially and racially divided decades after the 1960s civil rights movement? Practices like redlining, restrictive covenants based on race, segregated public transit, and literacy tests for voting have all been “abolished,” at least on paper and in theory. However, events since spring 2020 have returned to the public consciousness a reality that had always been obvious to millions of Americans living in poverty and in urban areas: that this country remains divided and that the racism of Jim Crow, rather than disappearing, has taken new forms.

Drawing from the perspectives of architecture, planning, sociology, and history, this conversation considers the evidence for how the American city and suburb – specifically Detroit – remain spatially divided and what steps must be taken to fulfill the dream of an egalitarian metropolis. Panelists include Professor Robert Fishman, Taubman College; Associate Professor Karyn Lacy, U-M Department of Sociology; Associate Professor LaDale Winling, Virginia Tech, with moderator Ph.D. student Myles Zhang, Taubman College.

Doctoral Colloquium Series Winter 2022, Session 1

Plan Your Future
Housing, Community, and Economic Development
Land Use and Environmental Planning
Physical Planning and Design
Transportation Planning
Global and Comparative Planning