Why is urbanism so white?

City Notes

The answer has to start, of course, with an acknowledgment that there are multiple things one might call โ€œurbanism,โ€ and that not all of them are notably white. Within recent memory here in Chicago, for example, majority-Latino and majority-black organizations have led marches supporting better bus service and El extensions, and housing activists tend to be a reasonably diverse bunch.

That said, the people who tend to use the term โ€œurbanistโ€ to describe themselves โ€“ and the ones whose ideas and political programs are represented in national media outlets and departments of transportation across the country โ€“ tend, overwhelmingly, to be white. I suspect anyone who spends much time following โ€œurbanistโ€ news knows this to be true; but, if we need more concrete proof, Planetizenโ€™s list of theย โ€œTop 100 Urban Thinkers,โ€ย selected by the votes of its readers, contains approximately three people of Hispanic origin and not a singleโ€ฆ

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