While U.S. politics has trended toward promoting economic recovery, improving equity has long-term economic benefits as well.
"Manuel Pastor of the University of Southern California cited research showing that metro areas doing better at deconcentrating poverty, working at racial desegregation, are growing more rapidly and sustainably over time."
The human side of planning is important for equity, but community involvement needs to be comprehensive and consistent, Pierce reports.
"But the center city working with all a metro area's communities is key, said former Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper, now Colorado's governor. A culture of local cooperation made voter passage of Denver's widely admired Fastracks regional metro light rail system possible, he noted. Regionwide 'collaboration is like a muscle: the more you use it, the stronger it gets.' Among regions today, he noted, 'collaboration is the new competition.'"