Addressing Cultural Divides

This course is also part of the Planning for Diversity in the Just City: Latinos and Planning in a Changing America Collection.


  • Cultural and linguistic divides that keep Latinos from participating more actively in the planning and decision-making process
  • Ways to better engage Latino, whether by rethinking the engagement process, the outreach process, the language used, and style 
  • How to best use their Spanish language skills to serve as more than just translators, but as creators of new engagement strategies targeting the cultural nuances of our Latino communities 


Lack of information in Spanish and cultural divides often keep Latinos away from the public planning process. Whether it be challenging schedules, fear of the system, or cultural and linguistic divides, engagement with Latino communities is very weak or non-existent in many places. How can we better connect with Latino communities in the cities we work with to ensure they are an active voice in decision-making?  

Bilingual Latino planners are enriched with the important language skills to bridge the gap between the planning process and the Latino communities we work in, and connect with communities in a more than superficial way. Latino planners are often asked to translate a phrase or planning term for a project or program, but Latino planners are more than just translators, and can serve an important role in leading and redesigning Latino cultural engagement techniques. How can we use our bilingual language skills to better connect the planning process to the communities we work in?  

Latinos and Planning Division

Special pricing for LAP Division members.