Study Finds Racial Disparity in Rezonings

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A New York University study finds that Mayor Michael Bloomberg's rezonings concentrate building density in low-income minority neighbhoods, while white neighborhoods’zoning regulations restricted how high or large new buildings could be.

The Furman Center at N.Y.U. looked at 76 rezoning measures that were passed in the first six years of the Bloomberg administration. Researchers found that downzoning occurred 60 percent of the time in largely white census tracts while 20 percent of the neighborhoods upzoned were in majority white neighborhoods.

A spokeswoman for the planning department said the department didn't use race or ethnicity as a factor in rezoning and said in many cases, members of minority neighborhoods wanted more density in order to increase investment and job opportunities.