Baltimore Planning Joins Statement on Role of Planning and Racial Inequity

Every fall, the planning directors of the nation’s largest cities gather for a peer learning opportunity at the Big City Planning Directors Institute. This past fall, Eleanor Sharpe from the Philadelphia Planning Commission proposed developing a joint statement on racial equity as a group. 

From a workgroup of 5 cities to a larger group of 20 Directors of Planning, including the City of Baltimore, a statement has now been co-signed and released. We hope that additional cities, large and small, from across the United States will join us.

The statement first acknowledges the contributions of city planners to segregation and systemic racism. More precisely, in Baltimore, urban planning initiatives and policies have contributed to the very structures that perpetuate the disparities that exist to this day. 

Looking forward, the statement commits planning directors and our teams to advocate for change from within our profession. In our agency, this work began in 2015 as planners reckoned with the role of planning within Baltimore's history. Over the past year we have made progress adding equity criteria to our CIP investment strategy and piloting an equity analysis in our staff reports to Planning Commission.

Next, we are developing an engagement strategy that prioritizes equity for the Comprehensive Plan - we will welcome your ideas to shape this effort over the coming months.

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