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Social Equity means all people can attain the resources and opportunities that improve their quality of life and enable them to reach their full potential. Addressing the history of inequities in the systems we work in and their on-going impacts in our communities is a shared responsibility. Social equity also means that those affected by poverty, communities of color, and historically marginalized communities have leadership and influence in decision making processes, planning, and policy-making. Together we can leverage our collective resources to create communities of opportunity.
This scorecard was created by Twin Cities, MN community leaders to ensure that the principles and practices of equitable development, environmental justice, and affordability are applied in all communities as they plan for economic development and wealth creation that benefits everyone.
Viewing transit-oriented development (TOD) through an equity lens through every step along the process is essential. eTOD elevates and prioritizes community voice whether in efforts to avoid or stop displacement of community residents, local businesses, and culture or to ensure that transit is affordable, reliable and accessible. It supports investments and policies that close the socioeconomic gaps between communities in which the majority of residents are people of color and those that are majority white.
Major economic development projects and infrastructure investment can present both tremendous opportunities and significant threats for communities and residents. Using a community benefits approach, as a local government official you have powerful tools available to ensure that these projects provide the greatest social, economic and environmental benefits while also not harming surrounding neighborhoods. In short, community benefits are assets available through economic development that meet real community needs. Examples include community access to living wage jobs, affordable housing, health and community services and open space.
The principles and practices of equitable development, environmental justice, and affordability are guides for all communities: suburban cities, rural communities and urban neighborhoods as they plan and implement economic development that benefits everyone. This equitable development tool will help guide development projects to 1) become economically vibrant with creative new affordable housing options that complement transit development 2) embrace the important concepts of local placemaking, livability, accessibility, walkability 3) increase the number of local stakeholders planning development projects. Working in partnership; government and low income, communities of color, people living with disabilities and seniors can ensure equitable development in our region.