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NYU starts race to find key to neighborhood equality

Vicki Been

With an eye to the philosophy that those who live and work together, prosper together, NYU Furman Center for Real Estate has convened a study on racial and economic inequality in the US.

The school has recruited some of the nation’s top scholars to study the demographics, housing and education that lead to racial and economic inequality.

“Given our nation’s history of residential segregation by race and class, integration remains a critical conversation and research topic,” said Vicki Been, director of the Furman Center and the Boxer Family Professor of Law at NYU School of Law. But.

“The issues have changed dramatically as the population has become more diverse, growth has been driven by immigration, suburbs have become poorer as central cities have become more attractive places to live, and economic inequality has increased.”

To kick off the initiative, the Furman Center convened 60 of the nation’s leading researchers, policymakers and practitioners for a roundtable discussion.

It featured a keynote address by Henry Cisneros, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development under President Clinton and current chairman of CityView, an institutional investment firm focused on urban real estate and metropolitan infrastructure.

Secretary Cisneros discussed the need to better integrate neighborhoods across the country in order to develop the next generation workforce the United States needs to compete in a global economy.

The event also featured a talk with playwright Bruce Norris, who was awarded the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for Drama for Clybourne Park, which addressed neighborhood racial change.

The Furman Center’s Integration Research Initiative will be a year-long series of programs that will involve scholars from around the world and across various disciplines.

These scholars will spend a year in residence at NYU School of Law to conduct research and scholarship on racial, ethnic, and economic integration.

“We were thrilled to bring together some of the brightest minds researching economic and racial segregation to better understand the current state of research, identify important gaps, and prioritize the most crucial areas for future research,” said Ingrid Gould Ellen, co-director of the Furman Center and Professor of Urban Planning and Public Policy at NYU’s Wagner Graduate School of Public Service.

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