Diversity in Practice


  • How to incorporate various social determinants of inequality — and metrics used to effectively gauge vulnerability and need — into planning, design, and policy-development processes
  • How to use culturally competent outreach methods and data-driven approaches for effective decision-making from a multi-disciplinary perspective inclusive of planning, architecture/interior design, and public health
  • How to challenge the traditional sense of normalcy and implicit bias in planning and design processes for more equitable, inclusive, and culturally competent outcomes


This course showcases three successful multi-disciplinary design and planning processes (city planning, interior design, and public health) that used data-driven and culturally competent approaches. It addresses the realities of changing demographics that require planning and design professionals to work from a baseline of racial and cultural competence. Hear about the efforts of CAMPO (in Texas) to conduct a vulnerability analysis and public outreach as part of the active-transportation planning process; the Productive Collisions project, an architectural/interior design process that considered socio-environmental sustainability to create respectful and relevant community spaces; and Air Alliance Houston's inclusive outreach process regarding the disproportionate siting of concrete-batch plants in low-income areas and communities of color within a mostly unzoned region. The course ends with questions from the audience and a group discussion about cultural competence and planners' ethical obligation to "seek social justice."