Skip to content

September 2022 - Episode 7

Racialized Zoning

Land-use regulations such as zoning are connected to every topic we cover on this show. When you zoom out and look at the big picture, many forms of racial inequity in America link back to how communities are planned and developed. It’s why some neighborhoods have fewer transportation options than others, and why certain parts of town have empty lots in place of parks, schools and affordable housing.

Through zoning, deed restrictions and redlining, ‘desirable’ neighborhoods have historically been made inaccessible to Black Americans. Meanwhile, the neighborhoods that Black people have been pushed into are neglected and over-policed. You probably know what comes next – as a result, Black Americans have their comfort and safety threatened while crossing the street, riding their bikes, taking buses and trains, and choosing to simply exist in public space.

Zoning is just one way that Black Americans have had their mobility arrested. Today, we’re exploring how land-use policy has historically contributed to institutional racism, segregation, and social and economic inequality.


Photo by Glenn Hansen on Unsplash