The Racist Roots Of “Urban Renewal” And How It Made Cities Less Equal

It sounded like a great idea at the time: give cities funding to clean up their impoverished areas and invest in affordable housing and urban infrastructure projects. But the federal policy of urban renewal, established by the Housing Act of 1949 that lasted through the 1950s and early 1960s, had devastating consequences–including displacing more than a million people from their homes.

A new project from the University of Richmond’s Digital Scholarship Lab uses data to investigate the number of displaced families from 1950 to 1966 in hundreds of cities and towns in the United States. The end result, an interactive data visualization called Renewing Inequality, highlights the cost of urban renewal by overlaying data about displaced families with data about race and redlining, the discriminatory practice during the 1930s that barred black people from living in certain neighborhoods.

Source: The Racist Roots Of “Urban Renewal” And How It Made Cities Less Equal

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