2018 National Planning Conference

Big City Planning Directors: Equitable Investment

Saturday, April 21, 2018 from 1 p.m. - 2:15 p.m. CDT

Location: R07

CM | 1.25

Cost: Included in Registration

Activity Type: Educational Sessions

Activity ID: NPC188025


  • How two different cities approach issues related to social equity and inclusive communities
  • What it means for a city to analyze its capital budget from an equity point of view
  • Factors involved in designing and programming public space to serve all users equitably


For 18 years, the American Planning Association, Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, and Harvard Graduate School of Design have brought the planning directors of the nation’s 30 largest cities to Cambridge, Mass., to engage with their colleagues in the Big City Planning Directors Institute. The program for the 2017 Institute included a planning clinic addressing two case problems with an equity focus brought by the Baltimore City and Seattle planning directors. Baltimore City is analyzing its capital improvement program through an equity lens. Seattle is reimagining Seattle Center, its iconic civic “living room,” as a new cultural and recreational campus that equitably serves all users. Learn about the solutions the planning directors group developed for their colleagues through a series of intense working sessions. For each case, attendees will gain an overview of the problem statement by the planning director, comments by a national expert brought to the clinic to advise on the case, and concluding remarks by the director on takeaways from the clinic, how they are moving forward with their colleague’s recommendations, and broader implications for planning for equity.

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Session Speakers

David C. Rouse, FAICP
American Planning Association
Washington, DC

Armando Carbonell, FAICP
Lincoln Institute of Land Policy
Cambridge, MA

Samuel Assefa
City of Seattle
Seattle, WA

Flip Herndon
Seattle, WA

Stephanie Smith
City of Baltimore, Department of Planning
Baltimore, MD

Thomas Stosur
Baltimore City Plng Dept.
Baltimore, MD

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