Community and Regional Planning Program


First Advisor

Rodrigo Cantarero

Date of this Version


Document Type



Height, T. (2017). Analyzing Communities in Black America: How Urban and Regional Planners Can Plan for Prosperous Black Communities. University of Nebraska-Lincoln.


A THESIS Presented to the Faculty of The Graduate College at the University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of Requirements For the Degree of Master of Community and Regional Planning, Major: Community and Regional Planning, Under the Supervision of Professor Rodrigo Cantarero. Lincoln, Nebraska: December, 2017.

Copyright (c) 2017 Tatiana Height


The black community in the United States has evolved out of a unique set of circumstances which have led to few black neighborhoods being able to prosper. Considering the negative influences on the black community such as wide-spread discrimination, mass incarceration, concentrations of poverty, and poor housing quality this community requires unique considerations to prosper. Given that only 10% of urban and regional planners are black, this research is meant to be a guide for urban and regional planners at large to plan in such a way that allows black communities to thrive. The results of this research indicate that prosperous black communities have better access to quality housing and employment opportunities than struggling black communities. Struggling and prosperous black communities are similar in regard to transportation and geographic mobility but prosperous black communities are significantly ahead in terms of home ownership. However, contrary to previous literature, this research found no indication that homeowners are more geographically stable than renters. Urban and regional planners can better serve the black community by improving avenues to wealth attainment, advancing home ownership, supporting investment and economic development in predominantly African American neighborhoods, utilizing inclusionary zoning, zoning against the inequitable distribution of hazard sites, and revitalizing existing communities in-place.

Advisor: Rodrigo Cantarero