Why should regional planning organizations do equity work? - Metropolitan Planning Council

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Why should regional planning organizations do equity work?

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Presidents of MPC (MarySue Barrett), SPUR (Gabriel Metcalf), and RPA (Tom Wright) discuss the changes they've seen in Chicago, San Francisco, and New York over the past 20 years.

In October, staff from MPC traveled to New York City for an exchange with our peer organizations: the Regional Plan Association (RPA) in New York, and the San Francisco Bay Area Planning and Urban Research Association (SPUR). In this two-day exchange, which is a relatively new tradition for our three organizations, staff traded communications and outreach tactics, strategies for working with local government, and more. One of the most important topics we discussed was equity.

MPC, RPA, and SPUR have in common a deepening commitment to integrate equity both externally into the work we do across our regions, as well as internally into our own organizational practices. And, as MPC President MarySue Barrett, RPA President and CEO Tom Wright, and SPUR President and CEO Gabriel Metcalf wrote in their joint op-ed in Living Cities, it is imperative to our regions that equity be at the forefront of planning work.

One of the most moving activities we did was to answer the question: Why should we address equity in our work? Each staff person wrote their answers on sticky notes, which we then all placed on the wall and read together. Here are some of the reasons we came up with:

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MPC, RPA, and SPUR staff responses to the question "Why should we address equity in our work?"

As MPC learns more and takes action toward equity in our region and in our organization, we will be sharing more about what we’re doing as a staff. Look out for a blog post in January about MPC’s equity journey so far, and keep up with our updates on Our Equitable Future.

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