Call for Papers

Dismantling the Architecture of Segregation

A Conference Sponsored by the Center for Urban Research and Education

Rutgers University–Camden, October 11, 2019

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Recent land use and zoning proposals around the United States directly attack the “Architecture of Segregation” – the public policies and institutional practices that further spatial inequality. Single- family zoning, for example, has effectively been used to keep lower-income people out of certain neighborhoods. To address this inequity, Minneapolis has eliminated single-family zoning throughout the city. Oregon and Seattle are considering similar measures. Several 2020 Presidential candidates, including Senators Cory Booker, Kamala Harris, and Elizabeth Warren, have offered significant proposals to break down exclusionary zoning. Segregation will not be solved through reform of land use policies alone, but the recent attention to the role of unwise public policies in creating and sustaining spatial inequality is a welcome first step.

This one-day conference will bring together leading academics, practitioners, and policymakers to develop an anti-segregation policy agenda. Speakers and panelists will articulate, analyze, and debate policy changes to finally begin to dismantle the Architecture of Segregation. We invite research papers on topics such as: 1) land use and housing policies that contribute to the persistence of segregation in the United States; 2) policy analyses of proposed policies intended to promote racial and economic integration; and 3) analyses of the implementation and evaluations of the impact of such policies.

This conference is necessary because the persistence of segregation by race and class casts a long shadow on the nation. In the average metropolitan area, 60 percent of blacks would have to move to a different neighborhood to achieve full integration. In some major metropolitan areas, such as New York, Detroit, or Milwaukee, the figure is nearly 80 percent. Black and white children enrolled in school are even more segregated than adults. Segregation of blacks from Asians, while lower on average, is growing. The nation is segregated by income as well as race, with more than 11 million persons residing in high-poverty areas – 56 percent higher than in 2000. A growing body of research confirms the detrimental effects that socially and economically isolated neighborhoods have on the health, safety, and life chances of those who live in them, particularly children.

There is a growing realization that segregation by race and ethnicity and concentration of poverty are not inevitable, but rather result from public policies and institutional arrangements that have governed the growth and development of metropolitan areas for decades:

  • The federal government subsidized suburban development that depopulated urban cores, allowed suburban jurisdictions to exclude low-income families, and tolerated blatant racial discrimination in suburban housing markets and housing finance.
  • Fragmented governance allowed suburban jurisdictions to set local development policies with no regard for the larger metropolitan areas within which they were embedded.
  • Tax policy rewarded construction of large homes while housing policies reinforced segregated patterns of public and assisted housing.

Every social and economic problem is both harder and costlier to solve in the context of vastly unequal neighborhoods. Thus, reducing segregation is an essential first step to fixing failing schools, improving health and education outcomes for low-income children, and improving spatial access to opportunity. Moreover, moving towards more integrated living patterns will help break down the walls of distrust that contribute to racial animosity, growing inequality, and political polarization.

In addition to research papers, the conference will feature presentations by public officials, policymakers, and advocates actively engaged in efforts to promote integration through changes to land use regulations, housing finance reform, fair housing enforcement, and affordable housing development. The event will be livestreamed and broadcast on social media via the CURE Twitter account, @CURECamden.

Important Dates

July 19: Abstract submission deadline
August 2: Accepted participants notified
September 27: Paper/presentation submission deadline
October 11: Conference at Rutgers University-Camden, Camden NJ.

CURE will cover hotel accommodations and reasonable travel costs.


This conference is organized by the Center for Urban Research and Education at Rutgers University – Camden.

We are hiring a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Rutgers Center for Urban Research and Education

The Center for Urban Research and Education (CURE) in the Department of Public Policy and Administration at Rutgers University-Camden invites applications from scholars in public policy or related disciplines for a post-doctoral residential fellowship during the 2019-2020 academic year. The Fellow should have an active research agenda relating to the demographic distribution of poverty across the United States; public policies aimed at addressing poverty and spatial inequalities; housing and community development; and/or local research on existing strategies towards a fair, equitable society. The Fellow will be expected to work on scholarly publications related to this agenda, both individually and in collaboration with Center Director Paul Jargowsky and/or other Rutgers-Camden faculty.

For further details and to apply, please visit:

Ida Wells-Barnett Annual Lecture: Reflections on 400 Years of African-Descended People in the New World

Ida B Wells Lecture flyer

Join us on Monday, February 4 for the Ida Wells-Barnett Annual Lecture.

Rutgers Alumnus, Prentiss A. Dantzler, PhD, is this year’s Ida B. Wells-Barnett speaker. Prentiss is an assistant professor of sociology and Mellon Faculty Fellow at Colorado College, and earned a doctorate in public affairs from Rutgers–Camden.

Date and Time
Monday, February 4 2019 at 6-8 PM
Rutgers–Camden, Multi-Purpose Room

Next CURE Seminar: “A Neighborhood Politics of Last Resort: Post-Katrina New Orleans and the Right to the City”

The steep rise in neighborhood associations in post-Katrina New Orleans is commonly presented in starkly positive or negative terms – either romanticized narratives of community influence or dismissals of false consciousness and powerlessness to elite interests. 

In A Neighborhood Politics of Last Resort Stephen Danley offers a messier and ultimately more complete picture of these groups as simultaneously crucial but tenuous social actors. Through a comparative case study based on extensive fieldwork in post-Katrina New Orleans, Danley follows activists in their efforts to rebuild their communities, while also examining the dark underbelly of NIMBYism (“not in my backyard”), characterized by racism and classism. He elucidates how neighborhood activists were tremendously inspired in their defense of their communities, at times outwitting developers or other perceived threats to neighborhood life, but they could be equally creative in discriminating against potential neighbors and fighting to keep others out of their communities.

Considering the plight of grassroots activism in the context of national and global urban challenges, A Neighborhood Politics of Last Resort immerses the reader in the daily minutiae of post-Katrina life to reveal how multiple groups responded to the same crisis with inconsistent and often ad-hoc approaches, visions, and results.

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Dr. Stephen Danley
Assistant Professor of Public Policy and Administration

Lunch will be served!

Date & Time
February 1, 2019 
12:15-1:30 p.m


Next CURE seminar: Dr. Michael Hayes, Friday, Dec. 7

This talk will present new findings on the unintended consequences of the New Jersey Superintendent Salary Cap (NJSSC). Starting in 2011, New Jersey set a salary cap for all future superintendent contracts based on student enrollment. This is one of the first state-imposed tax and expenditure limitations (TELs) placed directly on local public managers. The salary cap caused large reductions in base salaries for future superintendent contracts in the majority of NJ school districts. Using a difference-in-difference estimation strategy, the current study estimates the effect of NJSSC on superintendent turnover following the 2010-11 school year. Specifically, this study finds that an additional $10,000 reduction in base salary due to the NJSSC corresponds to a 4.0 percentage point increase in the likelihood of superintendent turnover for school districts with an expiring contract relative to those school districts without an expiring contract. Additionally, this study finds this increase in the likelihood of superintendent turnover following the enactment of NJSSC was largest for the least affluent school districts in New Jersey.

Michael Hayes

Dr. Michael S. Hayes received his PhD in Public Administration & Policy from the School of Public Affairs at American University. His research interests include public budgeting & finance, K-12 education finance, summer learning loss, value-added models, and state and local tax policy. He has been honored with the Emerging Scholars Award by the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs & Administration. His research has been published in various academic journals including the American Journal of EducationEconomic LettersEducational PolicyJournal of Economic Geography, and Public Budgeting & Finance. He also has been interviewed and cited in numerous media outlets including The Brookings InstituteChalkbeatEducation WeekPolitico, U.S. News and World Report, The Wall Street JournalProfessor Hayes teaches Quantitative Methods, Foundations of Policy Analysis, and Financial Management of Public Programs.