2020 National Planning Conference

Equity-driven Cultural Planning in Three Cities

Saturday, April 13, 2019 from 1 p.m. - 2:15 p.m. PDT

CM | 1.25

Location: 2016

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  • Learn how to use culture as a lens through which to view planning and community development differently and how to do cultural planning well through an intersectional and cross-sector approach.
  • Examine equitable cultural planning approaches toward planning projects and initiatives that may occur at the neighborhood, city, town, or regional scales. .
  • Acquire knowledge and best practices for implementing an equitable cultural planning process from conception to completion, including essential terminology and bottom-up creative community engagement.


As more communities understand the role that arts and culture can play in strengthening communities, many are taking a fresh look at the arts and culture sector. Cultural planning is an opportunity for communities to come together through an equity framework that affirms existing culture as a basis for community and economic development planning. When these efforts are led by planners, the process yields unique perspectives, approaches and outcomes. This session explores how planning for the arts at the local level offers a different path than traditional cultural planning, and how partnerships formed between the public and private sectors can transform policy and practice. Planners from Boston, Oakland ,and Washington, D.C., discuss their approaches to building racial, social and economic equity through cultural planning. They also discuss how these plans respond to changing demographic and economic conditions through cultural daylighting, programmatic alignment and strategic investments.

Session Speakers

Jennifer S. Erickson
Session Organizer and Moderator
Metro Area Planning Council
Boston, MA

Kara Elliott-Ortega
City of Boston, Massachusetts
Boston, MA

Roberto Bedoya
City of Oakland, California
Oakland, CA

Ryan A. Hand
Washington, District of Columbia
washington, DC

Sakina Khan
District of Columbia Office of Planning
Washington, D.C, DC