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LISTEN: How Zoning Laws Perpetuate Racial Segregation

Jacquiline Rabe Thomas
Connecticut Mirror
Construction of a multimillion-dollar beachfront property in Westport, Conn. Westport is among a number of Connecticut towns that a ProPublica investigation found blocked the construction of apartments, leading to a lack of affordable housing.

Racial segregation is a modern-day problem that is perpetuated in New England through local zoning laws.

That’s the argument from Sara Bronin, a land-use expert and law professor at the University of Connecticut. She talked to NEXT about the ways zoning can exclude people of color from affluent towns -- and how the national reckoning over systemic inequalities can be an opportunity to push for change.

“It’s pretty clear that people of color tend to be excluded from suburbs and from, in some cases, rural areas,” Bronin said.

Bronin is part of a concerted effort underway called “Desegregate CT” that is pushing for zoning reforms in Connecticut.

Listen to the entire episode of NEXT here.

Morgan Springer is the host/producer for the weekly show NEXT and the New England News Collaborative, a ten-station consortium of public radio newsrooms. She joined WNPR in 2019. Before working at Connecticut Public Radio, Morgan was the news director at Interlochen Public Radio in northern Michigan, where she launched and co-hosted a weekly show Points North.

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