MZ Strategies, LLC provides strategic assistance on infrastructure, housing and development matters to policy makers, planners, and community leaders working to create thriving, inclusive communities.
— Mariia Zimmerman

Recent Entries to the Policies and Politics Blog

Policies and Politics Blog

Over the past four years, MZ Strategies has worked with numerous communities to advance equitable development strategies ranging from specific policy initiatives and funding programs, to strengthening multi-sector coalitions, and updating regulatory approaches. Today, we are excited to release a new publication, "Advancing Equitable Transit-Oriented Development through Community Partnerships and Public Sector Leadership." The new report spotlights strategies being used in four regions to create more inclusive communities near transit, and discusses federal tools available to support development of transit real estate assets for affordable housing.

This month MZ Strategies is at Rail~Volution in San Francisco, the Shared Use Mobility Summit in Chicago and releasing a new report funded by the Ford Foundation on local and federal strategies to support equitable Transit Oriented Development (eTOD). Follow us on Twitter @MZStrat and check back later this month to download a free copy of "Advancing Equitable Transit Oriented Development through Community Partnership and Public Sector Leadership."

This summer I found myself on a professional journey of self-discovery as I realized the limits of my knowledge when it comes to how race and infrastructure are intricately linked. Equitable Transit-Oriented Development (eTOD) is being led in many regions by multi-sector coalitions to ensure that TOD projects and the planning process itself create communities of opportunity where residents of all incomes, races and ethnicities participate in and benefit from living in connected, healthy, vibrant places connected by transit. Efforts in Phoenix and Richmond underscore the need & opportunity for eTOD to address generations of racial injustice from past transportation and urban planning decisions.

Regional planning - at the federal level and in many areas of the country - is celebrating 50 years of practice. Yet the role of implementation is something that few regional agencies have the authority to do. By its very nature, regionalism is the art of collaboration. Somewhat surprisingly, federal transportation provisions are often the catalyst for integrated and collaborative planning efforts.

Addressing social inequalities is a thread through the consulting that MZ Strategies engages in with public agencies, non-profits and philanthropic organizations.  Yet recent experiences with environmental justice in South Phoenix and educational disparities in Richmond, VA remind me how very far we have to come in restoring equitable outcomes, especially in the face of multi-generational poverty and structural racism.