The U.S. of Them in Esquire

02-15-2012

Esquire asked Interboro Partners to recreate the U.S. map to reflect the state of things this year. Our response? The U.S. of Them. Check it out here.

Here’s a description of the project:

Recent books like Edward Glaeser’s Triumph of the City celebrate the capacity of cities to bring people together to hook up, swap ideas, and influence and inspire each-other, but it’s important to remember that our cities are pretty good at keeping people apart, too. More than forty years have passed since the Fair Housing Act outlawed discrimination in the sale, rental, and marketing of homes, in mortgage lending, and in zoning, and still most Americans live in communities that are racially, economically, generationally, and even politically and religiously segregated. How can we explain this? What produces segregation? Is racial segregation merely the legacy of policies and practices—like racial zoning or racial and religious covenants—that the Fair Housing Act illegalized? Or are there newer, subtler things that continue to produce racially homogeneous communities?

This map—and the forthcoming book that it appears in—is meant to support that latter claim. Hidden in the map are forty commonly-used, contemporary “weapons” in what we call the “Arsenal of Exclusion & Inclusion,” a collection of policies and practices that are used by architects, planners, policy-makers, developers, real estate brokers, community activists, neighborhood associations, and individuals to wage the ongoing war between integration and segregation, between NIMBY (not in my back yard), and WIMBY (welcome in my back yard).

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