Actively Engaging Latinos in Planning


  • Strategies used by Latinos to fill development gaps not addressed by planners
  • How communities at risk for displacement and gentrification can overcome these challenges by coming together, organizing, and engaging in participatory processes
  • Specific approaches to actively engage Latino communities in planning processes while sparking authentic dialog and identifying community-based needs and priorities


Latino communities marginalized by planning processes often take community development into their own hands, particularly where policies like redlining and urban renewal interfere with robust economic and community development. Serving the internal needs of Latino communities, these activities include creating small, locally owned businesses, high levels of pedestrian activity, street vending and home-based selling, high-density housing and accessory dwelling units, socially engaged front yards, and intense use of public space. This is often referred to as "Latino urbanism." Explore how planners can tap into this energy to activate and engage Latinos in planning processes. What can planners using formal, organized processes learn from informal, ad hoc practices? How is cultural competency implemented in active engagement processes? What is unique about Latino urbanism and how can planners support it with policy? Learn about innovative active engagement models using case studies from Los Angeles, Salt Lake City, and Brownsville, Texas, as well as approaches Latino planners have taken to increase equity and reduce the risk of gentrification in their communities.