Re: Columbus Ohio’s legacy of racism in urban planning

Hi friends, Ezra here. It’s been a hot minute since we shared some content… Unfortunately I had to withhold an episode for t*r*a*u*m*a reasons, but I’ve recently been involved in a lot of conversations about environmental justice and I wanted to revisit a topic that I introduced in this space in 2020. Following the murder of George Floyd in May 2020, coinciding with the beginning of pandemic lockdown protocols, my community was engaging in intensive conversations about what systemic racism looks like in our city.

I was motivated to publish an episode discussing aspects of Columbus’ city planning history that exemplify systemic racism. In this updated version of the episode, I speak on redlining specifically and data points that demonstrate relation between the built environment and worse socio-economic and health outcomes for Black Columbus residents.

Links to listen below.

Columbus Ohio is all too typical of the physical imprint of racism on urban spaces. Redlining, urban highways, white flite, prohibitive zoning… All of these things and more have manifested in the economic and racial segregation that plagues Columbus. This episode shares some insight on Columbus’ “urban problems” and offers several resources for planners and non-planners alike to learn more and do better.


Discussed in this episode: Strong Women Strong Places, Tamika Butler, Dr. Destiny Thomas, The Color of Law by Richard Rothstein, Columbus Ohio Redlining Maps,Kirwan Institute Study on Infant Mortality,  500 Cities Health Data for Columbus, University of Toronto Study, Communication So White Reading List

Thanks to:
Donnie ‘Rosy’ Ross for theme ‘Feeling Fool’
Aaron Thomas Art for our album cover

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