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5 Social Equity Problems Planners Should Help Solve

Urban planners should take a leadership role in placing social equity at the top of planning goals, argues planner, teacher, and affordable housing developer Murtaza Baxamusa. He looks at five socio-economic problems planners should strive to solve.
December 13, 2015, 9am PST | wadams92101
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Kent Wang

Planners should embrace their unique ability to influence socio-economic issues and they should advocate for promoting social equity in the planning process, argues Murtaza Baxamusa, a San Diego based planner and affordable housing developer. He cites Norman Krumholz, a leading advocate of equity planning, to suggest that planners have been too "timid" in promoting social equity in urban planning. He states:

To be effective, urban planning needs to dig deeper than obscure code, pretty pictures and jumbling data. It needs to make a difference in the lives of all people. With respect to the defining issues mentioned above, here are five fundamental socio-economic problems that urban planners face:

1) Can cities and regions prosper more fairly?

2) Is the "affordable" housing crisis in desirable places solvable?

3) Are our cities prepared for significant demographic and cultural changes in the future?

4) Should urban plans and projects be scrutinized for public health impacts?

5) Should transportation planning reorient from cars to people?

Baxamusa describes the need in each of these five areas for planner involvement.

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Published on Saturday, December 12, 2015 in UrbDeZine
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