Planning for an Equitable Economic Recovery
The economic recovery from the Great Recession exacerbated inequality, according to an article by Natalie Bicknell. "Now as people look anxiously forward to a recovery from the current Covid crisis, government leaders, policy makers, and advocates are beginning to strategize over how to increase racial equity and build community resiliency during the recovery."
The Seattle Planning Commission (SPC), a 16-member volunteer body appointed by the Seattle's mayor and City Council, recently published "A Racially Equitable and Resilient Recovery" to ensure that planning processes will partner with historically marginalized and at-risk communities as the city digs itself out of the pandemic's economic hole.
The report recommend five key strategies, as listed here but with more detail provided in the source article:
- Working in collaboration with BIPOC communities to create a planning process that shares power with communities
- Advancing housing choices and security in response to COVID-19 while expanding homeownership opportunities for BIPOC communities
- Maintaining the critical transit network and ensure City rights-of-way meets safety and open-space needs for BIPOC communities
- Ensuring public spaces work for everyone by centering and implementing BIPOC visions for the public realm
- Investing equitably in healthy and climate-resilient communities
To supplement this information about the Seattle Planning Commission's plans for assisting in an equitable economic recovery from the pandemic, Seattle Planning Director Sam Assefa recently sat down for an interview with Amy Dillemith for the American Planning Association. In the interview, Assefa explains the way the Seattle Department of Planning and Development is assisting in short- and long-term recovery events. For the long-term, Assefa points specifically to issues of budget, executive orders from the mayor, and self-started activities from within the department.