From Community Trauma to Ferguson's Comprehensive Plan

What You'll Learn

  • Learn to recognize community trauma and shape an approach to engagement that builds trust through the planning process.
  • Explore engaging data visualizations that amplify the experience of communities of color and invite community conversations.
  • Evaluate a community’s capacity for implementation, and explore tools that expand understanding and support future work.

More Course Details

The traditional comprehensive plan is ill-suited to addressing the broader and more systemic needs of many communities such as Ferguson, Missouri. Explore what it means to create a planning process that starts from an understanding of community trauma and historic inequities. From engagement through analysis and implementation, see how an intentional focus on racial equity can shape a modern take on the traditional comprehensive plan. Planners can invite and facilitate constructive community conversations around hard issues. Sometimes it's as simple as knowing when to just listen, then exploring experience through thoughtful data analysis in ways that elevate the issues, challenges, and assets of communities of color. Examine the importance of using the planning process to reinforce and validate community experience, build understanding that leads to shared goals, and educate for action. Finally, see how historic inequities often led to limited capacity for implementation, and look at the various ways the issue of community capacity was addressed in the comprehensive plan.

While issues of law enforcement have been (and remain) community conversations, it was rare for equity to be addressed in other areas traditionally reserved for comprehensive plans. The OurFerguson plan could be a model for equity in city comprehensive planning.

Learn about efforts normalize transparent conversations around racial equity in community planning; invest in the education of community leaders of color and provide a platform for owning the conversation and process for future implementation; and identify measurable inequities and present strategies that embrace equitable community investment.