Segregation by Design

Posted by Liam Otten April 28, 2016


It's been 58 years since the passage of the Fair Housing Act, yet most American cities—St. Louis included—remain deeply segregated. Next fall, faculty from Washington University in St. Louis and Harris-Stowe State University will present Segregation by Design, an interdisciplinary seminar that examines the role of planning and design in fostering and maintaining that separation.

Bridging humanities and architecture, the seminar will "introduce students to research, theories, and debates currently being conducted on issues of segregation, city planning, urban policy, and sustainability,” says Catalina Freixas, assistant professor of architecture in the Sam Fox School, who will lead the course with Mark Abbott, professor of history and director of the Center for Neighborhood Development at Harris-Stowe State University.

"By placing these debates in both historical and local contexts, students will discover how policy and decisions are entrenched with racial, cultural, physical and socioeconomic segregation, and create the spatial transformation of America's divided cities," Freixas adds.

Segregation by Design is presented as part of The Divided City, a four-year urban humanities initiative organized by the Sam Fox School and the Center for the Humanities in Arts & Sciences, with support from the Mellon Foundation. For more information, visit