Equity

a photo of Housing Secretary Ben Carson in Baltimore in July.

How HUD Could Dismantle a Pillar of Civil Rights Law

The Department of Housing and Urban Development plans to revise the “disparate impact” rule, which could fundamentally reshape federal fair housing enforcement.  

an illustration depicting a map of the Rio Grande river

Between Texas and Mexico, a Restless Border Defies the Map

In El Paso, we call it the Rio Grande; our neighbors in Juárez know it as Río Bravo. It’s supposed to be a national border, but the river had its own ideas.

a photo of a man pumping drinking water during the water shortage in Chennai, India.

The Future of the City is Thirsty

A new WRI report on 15 cities across the Global South reveals that access to safe drinking water is often underestimated—and the challenge will only get worse.

Children holding signs.

The Racism Behind Trump's New ‘Public Charge’ Immigration Policy, Explained

The changes to the “public charge” rule fit into a long history of attempting to restrict immigration based on race and ethnicity.

a photo of Tara Conley outside novelist Toni Morrison's birthplace in Lorain, Ohio, not far from Cleveland.

In Toni Morrison’s Hometown, the Familiar Has Become Foreign

The late novelist was born a few miles from me in Lorain, in a small-town Ohio she called “neither plantation nor ghetto.” But much has changed.

Asylum-seekers sit in Matamoros, Mexico, waiting to enter the U.S.

How Rule Changes About Public Benefits Could Affect Immigrants

The Trump administration announced changes to the “public charge” rule that will prevent immigrants who access government services from staying in the U.S.

Book covers of Native Country of the Heart and The Yellow House.

A Yellow House, a Native Heart: Life in New Orleans and Los Angeles

Sarah M. Broom’s The Yellow House and Cherríe Moraga’s Native Country of the Heart reveal the oft-overlooked daily life that fuels two storied cities.

The New Servant Class

“Wealth work” is one of America’s fastest growing industries. That’s not entirely a good thing.

A photo of a Dayton police office's gun holster

State Preemption of Local Legislation Is Getting Worse

A new report shows that state legislatures have been expanding their reach in preempting cities from localized regulation on issues like gun control.

The Benefits of High-Tech Job Growth Don’t Trickle Down

A new study from the U.K. finds that although high-tech and digital industries spur job growth, less-skilled workers don’t even get spillover benefits.

Why Casablanca's ‘American Landfill’ Keeps Growing

A landfill of nearly 200 acres of trash grows daily and torments residents on the outskirts of Morocco’s largest city. No one knows quite what to do about it.

A photo of a police officer in El Paso, Texas.

What New Research Says About Race and Police Shootings

Two new studies have revived the long-running debate over how police respond to white criminal suspects versus African Americans.

A close-up of a sink

Where Americans Lack Running Water, Mapped

“Plumbing poverty”—a lack of access to running water, a flush toilet, and an indoor bath or shower—is skewed across racial and socioeconomic lines.

Illustration showing different neighborhoods of a city in different colors, resembling a 3D zoning map.

CityLab University: Zoning Codes

Don’t know your R1 from your FAR? We’re here to explain how zoning laws work, how these ordinances shape your city and neighborhood, and why we fight over them.

a photo of murals of George Washington's life and legacy inside San Francisco high school.

A Depression-Era Mural, Caught in a Very Contemporary Controversy

At a public viewing of a 1930s mural depicting the life and legacy of George Washington, San Franciscans argued about preservation, racism, and erasure.

When Fear of Deportation Keeps Families From Help After a Shooting

In the aftermath of the El Paso killings, some undocumented immigrants reportedly were too afraid to seek care or help locating their relatives.

a photo of a low-income apartment complex in Charleston, South Carolina.

How a Section 8 Experiment Could Reveal a Better Way to Escape Poverty

A low-cost program created by Raj Chetty’s Opportunity Insights research group shows dramatic improvements in social mobility for low-income families in Seattle.

a photo of tents beneath a highway overpass in Seattle, WA

Fix the Housing Crisis? It’s Complicated, But Not Insurmountable.

Different U.S. cities have their own versions of the housing affordability problem. It’s time for them to share solutions.

a photo of construction on a home in Des Moines, Iowa

With Zoning Change, Des Moines Hopes to Lure Suburbanites

In Des Moines, Iowa, zoning rules regulating lot size, housing styles, and building materials will make new homes too expensive, builders warn.

The Whiter, Richer School District Right Next Door

Public schools’ dependence on local property taxes means some districts get isolated from the financial resources in their communities.