Department of Geography and the Environment Colloquium
Fri, February 1, 2013 • 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM • CLA 0.128
Austin Restricted By: Eliot Tretter and Anwar Sounny-Slitine
The purpose of this report is to explore how private land-use restrictions, the city's zoning laws, and federal policy all worked together to shape the patterns of residential segregation found in Austin during most of the 20th century. In part, I wrote this report to offer a corrective to the existing research, both popular and academic, that examines the evolution of segregation in Austin. On the whole, this research has focused squarely on the role of the local government. Stressing how private means of discrimination helped produce a racially segregated city gives a much richer account of how market and public forces worked in tandem. The other reason that inspired me to write this report was the realization that if private practices had such an impact on the residential geography of cities, then policy efforts to foster more racially and economic diverse neighborhoods that focus only on public zoning may always have limited results. In Texas, in particular, private land-use controls have a significant and lasting effect on residential and commercial development, and any attempt to foster more inclusive residential patterns in Texas must make calls for reforms to the state's public zoning regulations as well as barriers created by the system of private zoning.