Inclusive & Integrated Roads Not Taken: The Fault of De Jure Fair Housing in a Nation of De Facto Exclusions

Abstract

This paper explores the implications of a history saturated by class and race relations that underpin the state of residential segregation in American cities. The brief yet far-reaching research contextualizes contemporary challenges for planning and design, explains the relevance of inclusive and integrated housing, and further articulates the urgent task for designers, planners, policymakers, elected officials, and ultimately, the public. This task demands of many actors to advocate for and commit to equitable paths forward to realize the unfulfilled potential of the Fair Housing Act of 1968. In this context, the agency of the contemporary urban designer-planner-policymaker collaboration is defined by not only advocacy for equity, but also the instrumentality of helping guide regulatory frameworks that facilitate more effective ways to plan and shape the city. The urban project for the contemporary moment is concerned with resolving and electrifying the reciprocal relationship between the public and the city. The success of this necessary but not inevitable endeavor will be critically appraised by the degree to which an extraordinary individual and collective effort is made to ensure a productive, safe, just, inclusive, and integrated society—a future where more of the population has reasons to collectively sustain and enjoy itself than escape or muddle through.