As we head into another hot summer, there’s a growing chorus of community leaders, advocates, elected officials, and spiritual leaders calling for a fundamental shift in how we address some of our most pressing problems. These messages focus on creating a more inclusive society – one that tackles systemic inequities and ensures that all of us have an opportunity to share in prosperity. In our nation’s urban centers, we’ve seen too many instances where underlying social inequalities become manifest through tragedy. In light of this, we’re looking at the how broader values of caring, stewardship, and empathy can help create a more just society. As planners, that means we need to double-down on best principles that guide our work. We should be cognizant of the real life, day-to-day issues that face working families, and we should prioritize listening and collaboration over maximizing short-term economic gains. This month, we take a look at how a fundamental focus on equity can reshape our transportation network and make the community planning process more relevant. Likewise, we look at how innovative financing approaches can help property owners undertake expensive seismic retrofits without penalizing those who are least able to pay. Throughout this issue, we see ongoing efforts that aim to deliver investments in a manner that reduces existing inequities. Let’s continue to support these practices and build a lasting constituency of practitioners, advocates, and decision-makers committed to advancing equity.
Cecilia V. Estolano, Jennifer LeSar, Katherine A. Perez-Estolano