Giving Compass' Take:

• A report at Urban Institute reveals how American neighborhoods are desegregating and offers policy solutions to make sure they continue to do so.

• Why doesn't desegregating neighborhoods translate into income equity? What can further policies do to help enforce further social justice in desegregating neighborhoods? How can you support such policies and encourage others to do the same?

• Read about how you can invest in desegregated, racially equitable neighborhoods.

For centuries, systems built on white supremacy and racist policies at all levels of government have driven residential segregation in the United States. Residents of segregated neighborhoods and entire economies pay the costs.

The good news is that racial residential segregation is declining, though the pace may be plodding and the contraction uneven. In our recently updated data on inclusion for 274 US cities, we measure income segregation by comparing the variation in family incomes between all census tracts in a city and racial segregation using an index that quantifies the equitable distribution of people of color and non-white Hispanic people across a city’s census tracts. We use the broad terms “people of color” and “non-Hispanic white people” so we can compare cities with differing demographic patterns while limiting the size of sampling error for groups within cities with small populations. However, we recognize that the people categorized under these terms have unique experiences with state-sanctioned, institutionalized, systemic, and individual forms of racism.

How can cities continue on the path of inclusivity?

For cities to truly embrace inclusivity, they must focus on how their policies and systems shape their physical landscape, the choices their residents have in where to live, and the links between place and opportunity at the neighborhood level. Understanding and tracking both racial and income segregation over time at the city level is a first step toward advocating for and driving policy solutions to dismantle an unjust past and present.

If cities across the country are to forge more inclusive futures, policymakers, legislators, and planners must directly confront the legacy of segregation they perpetuate, which has created and worsened disparities in employment, education, environment, housing, and opportunity.

Read the full article about desegregating neighborhoods at Urban Institute.