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Abstract

Part I highlights recent data on racially segregated neighborhoods and low rates of interracial marriage to underscore what Russell Robinson refers to as “structural constraints” that shape and limit romantic preferences. As I discuss in this Part, many cities today continue to be racially segregated. Notably, current data demonstrate a strong correlation between low rates of interracial marriage and racially segregated neighborhoods in those cities. By contrast, contemporary studies indicate that in cities where communities are more racially and economically integrated, the rate of interracial marriages is high. Part II argues that the association between high rates of segregation and low rates of interracial marriages should prompt an exploration of factors that facilitate and perpetuate residential segregation. It also calls for an examination of ways to dismantle these contemporary barriers to the establishment of racially integrated neighborhoods and communities. Part II.A focuses on the ways that some cities are seeking to address residential segregation and housing discrimination in their jurisdictions. Part II.B considers private endeavors that policy makers ought to also consider in seeking to better integrate certain neighborhoods. Specifically, this Part discusses real estate developer James Rouse’s integrated planned community of Columbia, Maryland, which he established in 1967. Rouse’s attempt to integrate through private social engineering of American neighborhoods and cities offers important lessons for those who are invested today in creating conditions for diverse families to flourish.

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