Social Sustainability and Equity in Minnesota Communities

APA Minnesota Chapter


Thursday, September 28, 2017
1:45 p.m. - 2:45 p.m. CDT

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Equity, the third E in the three-legged stool of sustainability, is often the least recognized in community sustainability planning.  Drawing on examples from Minnesota communities, this presentation will highlight approaches to framing equity and social sustainability, practical project examples, and recommendations for community sustainability planning efforts.

1) Learn about common definitions of equity and social sustainability that can be applied to community sustainability planning.  Sustainability is often framed as representing three E’s – environment, economy, and equity.  Equity, also termed social sustainability, is often the least addressed aspect of sustainability.  The session will highlight community-relevant definitions of social sustainability that can help planners think about how to integrate social sustainability considerations into their work.

2) Understand the varied approaches and drivers of equity and social sustainability planning from a variety of community contexts. The session will share the results of a study of community social sustainability projects and approaches in Minnesota communities. The presenters will share highlights of how cities are beginning to approach social sustainability.  They will also offer innovative strategies for integrating sustainability considerations into socially-oriented projects related to community engagement, affordable housing, community development, and more.

3) Reflect on and consider application of practical recommendations that communities can use to advance equity and social sustainability in a manner that fits their own context and issues. The session will offer practical recommendations that communities can consider as they develop their own approach to social sustainability, tailored to their own context and issues.


Hannah Gary

Hannah Gary, is a Program Assistant with the Resilient Communities Project at the University of Minnesota. She has dual master's degrees in Urban and Regional Planning and Public Health and has experience working with the University of Minnesota Health Disparities Workgroup, Nice Ride Minnesota, and public health agencies in ... Read More

Mike Greco

Mike Greco, AICP, is co-founder and director of the Resilient Communities Project(RCP) at the University of Minnesota, which helps Minnesota communities advance local sustainability and resilience initiatives. Mike has a master of urban and regional planning degree from the U of MN’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs, and ... Read More

Carissa Slotterback, FAICP

Carissa Slotterback is an Associate Professor of Urban and Regional Planning in the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota. She teaches courses in environmental planning, public engagement, and sustainability planning. Her research is focused on stakeholder involvement and decision-making related to environmental, land use, and transportation ... Read More

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