Reed Jordan is an MIT trained urban planner and is an experienced public policy professional. He is currently a Senior Policy Advisor in the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development where he creates and leads strategic high-priority initiatives for senior leadership requiring coordination across agency offices and applying policy, data, and financial analysis in support of the agency’s programming and policy agenda. He also managed policy analysis for “Where We Live NYC”, the City of New York’s fair housing planning process to study and create a plan to address residential segregation, housing discrimination, and access to opportunity.
At MIT he focused on affordable housing policy and finance, economic development, and spatial inequality. Prior to attending MIT, Reed was a Research Associate at the Urban Institute, first in the Metropolitan Housing and Communities Center, and later in the Research to Action Lab. He managed a multi-year program of cross-center research and analysis on the importance of housing assistance, overseeing the budget, research products planning and development, staffing, and deliverable. He also provided technical assistance to local communities implementing Promise Neighborhood initiatives and evaluated HUD's Choice Neighborhoods program.
Students in this course will explore the spatial aspects of inequality, including racial segregation, concentrated poverty, and government structure. Course materials will investigate the consequences of these inequalities for individuals, communities, and American society as a whole, as well as how these seemingly-intractable problems were created by and continue because of public policy decisions. This course will be an interactive experience, requiring preparation before coming to class and active exchange during class.
The intertwined public health, economic, social and political crises facing cities have brought renewed attention to entrenched racial inequality and oppression in the United States, particularly anti-Black racism. Students in this course will develop a critical understanding of causes and consequences of racial inequality in America with a focus on spatial inequality, racial segregation, and concentrated poverty in cities. We will start by contextualizing the current political moment with an exploration of the role public policy played in creating and perpetuating urban inequality. We will then focus on the continued consequences of spatial inequality and racial segregation on individual and community well-being and the significance for contemporary policy issues, spanning political representation and voting rights, to gentrification and displacement, policing, and inequality in access to quality education, healthy neighborhoods, and employment. We conclude with the visions for a more just and equitable future articulated by activists, scholars, and front-line community groups. This course will draw on classic academic materials on American urban history, contemporary research, multimedia such as podcasts and music, and investigative and data journalism.