Creating Action with Data: Using Data to Increase Equity in Urban Development
6 September 2023
Any opinions expressed in this paper are those of the author(s) and not those of the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University or of any of the persons or organizations providing support to the Joint Center for Housing Studies. [...] Even with a wide range of policies aimed at addressing equity in urban development in the past few decades, communities made vulnerable by the long history of urban inequality were again exposed to devastation in the wake of the 2008 housing bubble and foreclosure crisis, and they continue to face displacement, gentrification, and lack of investment. [...] In the wake of George Floyd’s death in 2020, many cities are making strides to address the uneven legacy of urban development through the formulation of tools, indicators, and initiatives that center the measurement of racial and social inequities. [...] These three data-driven assessments showed that involvement of the community in making decisions about what and where to invest became more central as planning shifted to the local level, resulting in the emergence of an initiative to establish a shared decision-making framework between the city, county, and several local organizations and residents through the Duwamish Valley Action Plan. [...] While emphasizing communication, transparency, and accountability in the course of the city’s planning 12 and community engagement, one of the biggest challenges for translating the Action Plan (and other initiatives) into meaningful action is the complex organizational and institutional.