2018 National Planning Conference

Equity in Regional Planning

Sunday, April 22, 2018 from 1 p.m. - 2:15 p.m. CDT

Location: R08

CM | 1.25

Cost: Included in Registration

Activity Type: Educational Sessions

Activity ID: NPC188083


  • How four agencies established frameworks for equity and inclusion in regional planning
  • How to examine your own, or your organization’s, approach to equity and inclusion and apply lessons learned from others
  • How to assess different planning, engagement, policy, and program options as you organize your own approach to planning for equity and inclusion


Planners have long struggled with questions around how to cultivate places where all people can grow and thrive. Recent federal initiatives have encouraged regional planning agencies to evolve their thinking just as new voices are challenging outdated paradigms of outreach. As a result, regional planners are developing frameworks that emphasize the broad economic benefits of equity and inclusion. Regional planning agencies and regional plans are approaching equity — particularly across races, ethnicities, incomes, and abilities — in different ways shaped in part by each agency’s unique enabling authority and context. Each agency has been moving along a continuum from analyzing the issues to engaging with residents to developing policy frameworks, programs, and targeted investments and finally to measuring performance, with some healthy disruption scattered throughout. This session will provide a frank and enlightening glimpse into the journeys of four regional planning agencies committed to making planning for equity and inclusion a central part of their work. Speakers will describe their agencies’ approach to equity and frame that approach within a regional context. By sharing lessons learned, the session will help attendees overcome lingering fears that prevent organizations from approaching these issues.

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Session Speakers

Elizabeth Scott, AICP
Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning
Chicago, IL

Brad Calvert
Denver Regional COG
Denver, CO

Elizabeth A. Starling
Metropolitan Council
St. Paul, MN

Shoshana Akins
Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission
Philadelphia, PA

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