Acknowledging and Righting Planning’s Racial Equity Wrongs
Historically, American planners have contributed to systemic racism, segregation, and inequity through their strategic decisions. From redlining to zoning ordinances, their choices have furthered inequalities that are still present today. As a result, many Black, indigenous, and other people of color suffer disparities in wealth, income, health outcomes, life expectancy, and incarceration rates when compared to white residents in the same municipalities. Following the 2021 National Planning Conference, planning directors from some of the country’s largest cities crafted a collaborative equity statement, “Planning and Equity: A Commitment to Change.” Planning directors who sign the statement pledge to acknowledge the inequalities resulting from historical planning decisions, correct past harms, and create an inclusive future. Understand the need for this public commitment to change and how it can advance conversations and build trust with community members. Planners who have signed the statement describe challenges, successes, and lessons learned.
- Learn about planning’s role in historical and systemic racial discrimination and how it resulted in current racial inequity and community disparities.
- Understand why it is important for planners and planning departments to clearly and publicly commit to addressing racial inequities and learn how to communicate this commitment to your community.
- Explore planning directors' actionable methods to address racial inequity.
The NPC Peer Reviewers assigned this presentation a learning level of Advanced. For more on learning level descriptions visit our General Information Page.