Newsletter intros are usually written by an editor sitting at a desk. As chance would have it, this one is being bashed out in the back of a cab in New York City (excuse typos). That reality allows me to detail the city as it goes from a gentrified, whiter area of Brooklyn into one that is poorer and with a higher proportion of Black residents. Whereas a few minutes ago my taxi passed a Whole Foods, a Fresh Market grocery and a line of high-end restaurants, now out the window the only food options I see are fast-food joints (and there are plenty of them) and small bodegas.

This is not uncommon in America. Low-income urban areas, home to many Black and Hispanic families, tend to have fewer options for healthy food. As explained by Julian Agyeman, an urban planning expert at Tufts University, this is no accident – this is through design.

Also today:

Matt Williams

Religion & Ethics Editor

Black neighborhoods have a higher density of fast-food outlets than in white districts. David McNew/Getty Images

How urban planning and housing policy helped create ‘food apartheid’ in US cities

Julian Agyeman, Tufts University

Discriminatory zoning and housing policies have concentrated poverty in urban America along racial lines. As a result, healthy, affordable food options are limited in many low-income and Black neighborhoods.


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