The Planner's Role in Addressing Equitable Economic Development

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Learning Outcomes

  • Explore how systemic barriers to economic inclusion and equitable growth limit the potential of diverse communities.
  • Understand people- and place-based tools that planners can use to promote economic mobility and foster a broader equity agenda.
  • Learn about ongoing work on APA's Inclusive Growth and Equitable Economic Development Policy Guide.


All planners have a role in equitable economic development, but sometimes the link is not clear. Get clarity on the planner's role. Learn how planning skills can be applied, and explore ways that planning connects with finance (e.g., asset building), housing (e.g., community land trusts), and other economic disciplines. Explore the histories of inequity and racism, and the ways that changing power dynamics play an important role in centering communities in the economic development process. Leave with real-world tools to use in your own planning work. Get an understanding of the considerations and questions to ask yourself before starting a planning process to ensure it is not continuing a legacy of racism or inequality.

As planners work to change a system that has too often contributed to systemic discrimination against BIPOC communities, it can be difficult to know where to start. Get up to speed on equitable economic development, which is the subject of a new APA Policy Guide, and get tools to bring positive change.