Equity has run through many of my urban planning projects, from the strategic plan proposal for the Capitol Riverfront BID that included a section on homelessness and planning for differently abled, to community outreach in Shirlington that emphasized accommodating parents needing childcare and residents for whom English is not their first language.
I believe that most urban planning projects can have a positive impact on equity in their communities, but to do so requires open communication with the community about their needs and analyzing future impacts of any project.
You can find a sample of my work on equity and planning below.
Curriculum for Diversity & Inclusion in Urban Planning
During my first semester of graduate school my program was rewriting its strategic plan as part of the process to receive accredation from the American Planning Association. After attending all of the strategic planning visioning sessions, I was selected to help write and edit the plan with a small group of other students. One of the things we identified as a priority was to improve education and discussion around equity in the field of urban planning and so, a new core course was created: Diversity and Inclusion in Urban Planning.
A total of four students participated in a spring practicum to learn about diversity and inclusion in planning and create a robust curriculum for the new course. I covered the gender portion of the curriculum while the rest of my team covered race, class, religion, ability, sexual orientation, and age.
You can view the final curriculum by clicking on this link.
Equity Framework for Analyzing Parks
My Land Use Law course collaborated with the D.C. Department of Parks and Recreation to assist them with their new five-year plan. As part of this effort, we were divided into groups and created frameworks for analysis based on different attributes. My group chose to tackle the equity framework.
After extensive research, we identified three dimensions of park equity strategy: equitable access, a sense of ownership, and equitable investment. I focused on the programming, equipment, and maintenance aspects of a sense of ownership and found that park benefits and utility to the community could be maximized through partnering with non-profits, creating community stewardship committees, prioritizing multi-generational park design, and integrating community gardening.
You can read view our presentation by clicking on this link.
You can read our final report by clicking on this link.