Recent Entries to the Policies and Politics Blog
Tranist Oriented Development is a field within urban planning that promotes mixed-use development near transit as a way to revitalize communities and improve the efficiency of our transportation system. It often involves strategies to create more housing, improve walkability and create more places for shopping, gathering, working and enjoying urban life. Last month I wrote about my own personal journey in understanding how cultural racism had influenced my work over the last twenty years on equitable Transit Oriented Development (eTOD). This month I delve into some ways that racism is baked into our systems, structures and institutions making it an incredible (but not insurmountable) challenge to correct if we are to truly realize EQUITABLE TOD that works for people of all races and income levels.
Many people chose planning, or are called to it, by their strong desire to create thriving, inclusive, and environmentally-kind communities. Yet in this work, we must come to terms with a complicated racial history that continues to impact the work we do today. Changing society’s laws, institutions and culture to be more racially just takes time and feels overwhelming. It’s easy to be cynical. Yet, the truth is that change must first begin with ourselves. In this, and my next blog post, I share my own journey of racial self-responsibility and reflect on some ways cultural racism is embedded within transportation planning and how my cultural bias reinforced this subconsciously. By recognizing these barriers, we can work together as allies to heal, reconcile, and create more livable communities. (Artwork by Jose Ramirez “City of Angels” 2011)
Another year ends, and it is with deep gratitude that I look back over 2018 to reflect on all the amazing accomplishments achieved by the array of incredible local and national community leaders, thought partners, and funders that I have had the privilege to work with to make America’s communities thrive. As someone who cut her teeth working at the federal level, it has been beyond depressing to see the vitriol, decay and lack of leadership by Congress and this administration. Yet against this backdrop, innovation and a commitment to greater racial and economic equity is exploding at the local level. Read the MZ Strategies post to see some of the highlights!
This fall Mariia Zimmerman, Principal of MZ Strategies, LLC will be speaking across the country at several events to share emerging practices and new policies centered around elevating community voice, ownership, and education to ensure that long-time residents and small business owners can remain in communities as they attract new and much-needed investment.
MZ Strategies, LLC developed two new publications on Equitable Transit Oriented Development (ETOD) for the Strong Prosperous and Resilient Communities Challenge (SPARCC). ETOD emphasizes transit’s role in serving mixed-income communities and prioritizes the needs of those who rely on transit. This includes broadening the definition of TOD to include issues of racial equity, community health, access to economic opportunity, and environmental goals. The six SPARCC-supported communities, reflect this shift in many ways and are at the forefront of ETOD strategies. Blog cross-posted from SPARCC.