APA SCD Statement: Building Sustainable Communities through Action and Equity

The Executive Committee of the Sustainable Communities Division of the American Planning Association (APA SCD) is heartbroken by the senseless killing of George Floyd and many others before him, and the immense pain inflicted on the black community, which continues to suffer from the insidious and blatant effects of structural racism nationwide. We strongly support those who have advanced our community dialogue through activism. Racism is an ongoing issue in American communities and demands sustained action for meaningful, substantive, and immediate change. As planners, it is our responsibility to serve each and every member of our communities equitably and treat all persons with human dignity and respect. This is an essential element of truly sustainable communities. It is particularly important for us to advocate for those who do not have a voice or are otherwise unable to participate in the process of community building—one that is equitable for all.

APA has been proactively working to place equity as a keystone consideration in all planning processes, from the ethical principles that undergird the professional practice of planning articulated in the AICP Code of Ethics to developing and promoting our landmark Planning for Equity Policy Guide last year. As an extension of APA’s efforts, APA SCD will continue to work toward improving the resiliency of our cities and towns and collaborating on innovative approaches to sustainable and equitable planning which improve the lives of all Americans.

As our division prepares for a broader strategic planning effort this summer, we will reach out to our membership to identify how we can make measured progress towards these ends—progress which is vital to America’s future. As a division whose mission is to advance sustainable communities, we are committed to using our voice and our resources to advance this discussion. APA SCD encourages and welcomes collaborations with other Divisions on this topic to collectively grow our understanding.

—APA Sustainable Communities Division Executive Committee

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