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- Think critically about integrating a community's identity into place making.
- Integrate education on urban planning topics into planning processes.
- Increase civic engagement through land use planning efforts.
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The Neighborhood Self-Defense Project uses a year-long curriculum to develop a grassroots, neighborhood-led land use plan that undoes racist zoning and promotes a vision that reflects neighborhood values. Planners and designers facilitate neighborhood-led plans that correct land use and zoning issues that have perpetuated inequities. Neighborhood plans are to be adopted into city policy to inform development and future investment.
This process centers the voice of the community by incorporating education, consensus-based decision making, and non-traditional community engagement methods. Step one is bringing the neighborhood together by hosting educational sessions on urban planning topics. Community members develop relationships as well as organizing and leadership skills. These workshops are the foundation for establishing community ownership and power in drafting the vision and land use recommendations. Planners act as facilitators and provide technical assistance in drafting the plan and advocating, with residents, for the plan's adoption by the city. This project arose from an environmental-justice fight in Dallas and has evolved to assist several city communities.
Leave with a roadmap for ensuring inclusion and equity in neighborhood planning projects that deal with the effects of racial discrimination.