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I’d like you to consider the popularity of Disney World. Why do so many suburbanites flock there? There are a myriad of reasons, I’m sure. People love the life-sized Disney characters, ready at any moment to make a kid smile or cry. There is alcohol and good food at EPCOT. And then the fun rides, of course. But I have a hard time believing those are the only reasons.

The average visitor spends only 3% of her time on rides or at shows, according to a Disney architect (Duany et. al 2000). The rest of the time? Visitors are either…

The Home Owners Loan Corporation labeled poor neighborhoods (in red) as unworthy of mortgage lending in this 1938 map of Atlanta, setting up decades of institutional discrimination. Source: Mapping Inequality

The United States is almost as segregated now as it was when President Lyndon Johnson signed the Fair Housing Act in 1968. That seems insane. But it actually shouldn’t be surprising. A house, more than most other goods, is extremely durable. Even poorly built real estate can last a long time. Therefore the consequences of housing decisions have a long-lasting impact. And our country is prone to making poor housing decisions. …

Henry Queen

Journalist and graduate of the University of Georgia.

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