Planning June 2019

Et Cetera

Now Streaming: Owned: A Tale of Two Americas

Owned: A Tale of Two Americas

Combining archival footage, interviews, and animation, Giorgio Angelini's new documentary exposes the dual nature of home ownership in America. While the GI Bill, FHA mortgages, postwar planned suburbs, and 50 years of economic growth provided pathways to the American Dream for the white working class, persistent patterns of racism — including legal and institutional practices like redlining, restrictive covenants, and urban renewal plans — left communities of color out in the cold.

Importantly, the film shows that while the 1960s' civil rights legislation was meant to address these problems, enforcement has never been strong, and racial disparities in ownership and wealth, once established, have persisted.

The film's second half turns to more recent history, examining the "house of cards" of easy credit, tax incentives, and speculation underlying the country's recent foreclosure crisis — and the differential impacts experienced by people of color. Stream the film on iTunes and Amazon Prime starting June 4.

— Ezra Haber Glen, AICP

Glenn, Planning's regular film reviewer, teaches at MIT's Department of Urban Studies & Planning. He writes on cities and film. Visit him at

Exhibit: Evicted

A sheriff writes an eviction notice. One in 40 renter households were evicted from 2000 to 2016 in the U.S., per the Eviction Lab. Photo courtesy Evicted.

A sheriff writes an eviction notice. One in 40 renter households were evicted from 2000 to 2016 in the U.S., per the Eviction Lab. Photo courtesy Evicted.

"Thousands of tenants will be evicted this week."

That's just one of the striking statistics in the National Building Museum's Evicted exhibit, which begins a 10-city tour June 14 in Milwaukee. Photos and videos of some of these evictions make the statistics chillingly real.

Evicted draws on research from Princeton sociologist Matthew Desmond, author of Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City. Desmond also runs Princeton's Eviction Lab, the first nationwide database on evictions, with 80 million records. Eviction used to be rare, but it has increased over the past few decades, resulting in more than 2.4 million eviction filings in 2015 in every part of America: urban, suburban, rural.

Learn more — and find a tour stop near you.

— Jim Sweeney

Sweeney writes about architecture, art, and design from Rockville, Maryland.

Quiz: Density Diagrams

Research center LSE Cities has mapped urban densities from around the globe — and The Guardian turned it all into a quiz. Test your knowledge.

Report: Freeways Without Futures

"Freeway construction was a disaster for city neighborhoods in the 20th Century," the new report from the Congress for the New Urbanism observes. "Many neighborhoods were divided in two ... disproportionately in minority communities." To help repair those lasting divisions, CNU takes stock of North America's freeways every few years to determine which provide the best opportunity for revitalization — through their removal. Download the report.

Tech: Alliance Intelligent Cloud

Our vehicles monitor their own tire pressure, make calls, and parallel park for us. We've learned to expect these bells and whistles — but it's important to recognize those features as the beginnings of connected mobility.

A new technology from Microsoft is now taking that connectivity to the next level. The Alliance Intelligent Cloud allows vehicles to communicate with their parts, passengers, and smart infrastructure while also storing driving data, increasing safety and route efficiency. Automakers Renault and Nissan are already outfitting some of their new models with the tech.

— Kate Calabra

Calabra is a partnership development associate at City Tech Collaborative.

Et Cetera is a curated collection of planning odds and ends. Please send information to Lindsay R. Nieman, Planning's associate editor, at