CHICAGO (July 1, 2020) — APA is proud to release Equity: The Planner's Responsibility, the first video in a multi-part series demonstrating that equity is a necessary guiding principle for planners and all who participate in the process of planning as advisors, advocates, and decision makers.
In the aftermath of a global pandemic, and on the heels of civic awakening around racial injustice, local governments and planners are taking a fresh look at social equity as one of their greatest challenges — from a lack of access to health care and transportation for underserved communities, to increased exposure to environmental hazards, to a digital divide that impacts public participation.
The planning profession sadly bears responsibility for perpetuating policies and systems that have reinforced racism in the past, especially against the Black community and other communities of color. As recent events spark discussion around community solutions that seek to right the wrongs of the past, planners can and should lead efforts to reimagine great communities for all.
Planning professionals, especially AICP-certified planners who have demonstrated they have the knowledge, skills, and ethical commitment to promote equity, offer a holistic view of impacts and opportunities related to economic development, land use, resiliency and sustainability, cultural preservation, and other factors that bridge the worlds of built environment design, policy, and full societal potential.
"It's time to raise awareness around the fact that planners offer a unique perspective on the junction of governmental policy, private interest, and serving the public interest in our communities," said APA President Kurt A. Christiansen, FAICP.
"Voices of Equity in Planning recognizes the complexity of planning work in balancing community values, and explores the ethical principles and strategies planners use to be vigilant in addressing the needs of those who are often marginalized."
The videos include interviews with planners in the public and private sector across the country, whose work has centered equity for years. The series includes an overview video released this week, and several additional videos exploring equity in planning practice to be released in the coming weeks. The videos are available at planning.org/voicesofequity. When additional videos are released they will also be added to the page. This project is part of APA's long-term equity, diversity and inclusion commitment.
The American Planning Association is an independent, not-for-profit educational organization that provides vital leadership in creating great communities for all. APA and its professional institute, the American Institute of Certified Planners, are dedicated to advancing the profession of planning, offering better choices for where and how people work and live. The more than 40,000 APA members work in concert with community residents, civic leaders, and business interests to create communities that enrich people's lives. APA has offices in Washington, D.C., and Chicago. Learn more at www.planning.org.