Planning as if People Matter: Governing for Social Equity

Overview

American communities are changing fast: ethnic minority populations are growing, home ownership is falling, the number of people per household is going up, and salaries are going down. According to Marc Brenman and Thomas W. Sanchez, the planning field is largely unprepared for these fundamental shifts. If planners are going to adequately serve residents of diverse ages, races, and income levels, they need to address basic issues of equity. Planning as if People Matter offers practical solutions to make our ...

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Planning as if People Matter: Governing for Social Equity

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Overview

American communities are changing fast: ethnic minority populations are growing, home ownership is falling, the number of people per household is going up, and salaries are going down. According to Marc Brenman and Thomas W. Sanchez, the planning field is largely unprepared for these fundamental shifts. If planners are going to adequately serve residents of diverse ages, races, and income levels, they need to address basic issues of equity. Planning as if People Matter offers practical solutions to make our communities more livable and more equitable for all residents.

While there are many books on environmental justice, relatively few go beyond theory to give real-world examples of how better planning can level inequities. In contrast, Planning as if People Matter is written expressly for planning practitioners, public administrators, policy-makers, activists, and students who must directly confront these challenges. It provides new insights about familiar topics such as stakeholder participation and civil rights. And it addresses emerging issues, including disaster response, new technologies, and equity metrics. Far from an academic treatment, Planning as if People Matter is rooted in hard data, on-the-ground experience, and current policy analysis.

In this tumultuous period of economic change, there has never been a better time to reform the planning process. Brenman and Sanchez point the way toward a more just social landscape.

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Editorial Reviews

<i>Choice</i> - T.J. Vicino
"The authors nicely frame the book around key questions about how ethics, information, and equity shape everyday human lives. Readers, particularly practitioners, students, and faculty in professional programs, will appreciate the book's engaging tone and style."
Journal of Planning Literature
"a compelling and accessible volume"
Journal of Planning Education and Research
"[...] this book is a challenge to the planning profession and a call for much needed examination of the underlying purpose of urban planning."
 
Choice
"The authors nicely frame the book around key questions about how ethics, information, and equity shape everyday human lives. Readers, particularly practitioners, students, and faculty in professional programs, will appreciate the book's engaging tone and style."
Founder and CEO, PolicyLink, and coauthor of Uncommon Common Ground - Angela Glover Blackwell
"An incisive analysis of the most urgent issue facing America: how to build a nation in which all people can participate and prosper. This book is both a call to action and a practical guide for infusing equity principles into planning and governance."
Professor of Urban Affairs & Planning at Hunter College/CUNY - Tom Angotti
"This is a direct and accessible guide for present and future planners and policymakers who are deeply concerned about social equity. It is an ethical compass for those who face the complexities and dilemmas that arise when working within and confronting a system defined by deep racial and class divides."
Director of Research, Poverty & Race Research Action Council - Chester Hartman
"A clarion call to the planning profession to place social justice and equity at the center of our work. Rife with concrete recommendations regarding governance, public participation, technology and the promise represented by the nation's demographic shifts—all within the context of a changing global context."
RAND Corporation, and former Director of the Institute of Transportation Studies - Martin Wachs
"Brenman and Sanchez present equity as both a critical social need and a complex intellectual puzzle when applied to policy. Their book is a clear treatment of equity in emerging policy settings like the internet, land use, gender and age politics and more."
Urbana
"Brenman and Sanchez tackle the issues of social equity head on and continually remind the reader of the centrality of social issues in planning....The subjects covered in this book are unwieldy, complicated, fuzzy and controversial, but the authors manage to establish the right balance without the discussion becoming too ethereal....I would definitely recommend it for practicing planners, urbanists, within and outside of academia, and to be used in classes on urban planning, urban politics or public administration."
Planning
"Social justice is one of those topics that are more honored in theory than in practice. Planning as if People Matter is an attempt to change that....They take up a wide range of topics—demographics, ethics, diversity, public participation, communications technologies—and conclude by suggesting a number of 'interventions' for social justice."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781610910125
  • Publisher: Island Press
  • Publication date: 8/16/2012
  • Series: Metropolitan Planning + Design Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 539,786
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Marc Brenman is Principal, Social Justice Consultancy. Thomas W. Sanchez is Chair and Professor of the Urban Affairs and Planning Program at Virginia Tech and Nonresident Senior Fellow at The Brookings Institution. Together they authored The Right to Transportation: Moving to Equity (2007).
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Table of Contents

Preface xi

Acknowledgments xiii

1 Governance and Equity: Planning as if People-Matter 1

2 Changing Demographics and Social Justice 15

3 Ethics in the Public Realm: The Role of the Planner 45

4 Diversity and Inclusion 63

5 Public Involvement and Participation 95

6 Technology for Social Equity 115

7 Social Equity Interventions 135

8 Conclusions and Recommendations 159

Notes 177

References 179

Index 195

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