Five Essential Books to Read on Making Cities Anti-racist

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by Diana Budds, Curbed

The conversation around how race impacts the structures of our cities has evolved over the years from an equity framework, to one focused on justice and inclusion, to, today, one that is actively anti-racist.

An anti-racist city is one that is repairing the damage from racism and remaking itself into a place that affirms the lives of all people and enables everyone to thrive—regardless of race or ability. What this looks like in specific communities will vary, and alot of work—and reading—still needs to be done to imagine it. Creating anti-racist cities could start with identifying how our cities are racist, which policies and practices perpetuated racism, and exploring alternative systems. Urban planning has been complicit in racism for too long.

We asked architects who have been working at the intersection of cities and race to suggest required reading for anyone interested in defining the future of anti-racist cities. The titles below have helped these architects better understand the social, political, and spatial dynamics that have contributed to unequal cities. Reading these books is a foundation for the world-building on the horizon.