Sustainable, human-centered infrastructure can deliver health, equity, economic benefits, and climate protection. But in communities with a history of fractured and inequitable decision-making, it can be hard to achieve this potential. In Atlanta, GA, we are working with Partnership for Southern Equity (PSE) to co-design approaches to infrastructure decision-making that benefit everyone for the long-term.
The Just Growth Circle
While our collaboration initially focused on Green Infrastructure, we have since broadened our focus and arrived at the creation of the Just Growth Circle (JGC), a community engagement platform that works to bring residents greater leverage in advocating for equitable growth and decision-making.
Fundamentally a collaborative effort, JGC encourages sustainable, self-sufficient communities, as well as diverse participation in land-use and infrastructure investment in ways that benefit everyone. Founded on the belief that the future of our communities depends upon our ability to provide equitable growth for all, the JGC uses an ecosystem approach to ensure equitable development.
Both the sustainability and the equity of a city depends on choices made at moments of opportunity – drafting of ordinances, targeting of investments, hiring of implementers – and the Just Growth Circle aims to pre-build knowledge, understanding, and relationships to increase the odds of effective action at those key moments.
- Equity is key to good decision making.
- Scaling up sustainable infrastructure takes everyone.
- Systems tools can help people see a big picture and get big results.
- Lasting change is built on a foundation of shared values and emerges from a group of diverse leaders.
The Just Growth Circle members believe that development should:
- Protect Against Displacement
- Benefit Marginalized Communities
- Be Community Driven
- Be Community Empowering
- Project Clinics
- Field Trips
- Small Grants
- Systems Mapping
- Collaborative Projects
- Explorations of what it means to apply the shared values of the circle in work and life
Analysis done using the FLOWER tool, a visual framework for Multisolving.
Watch this video exploring the dynamics of community investment and displacement, made with input from the Just Growth Circle and the Partnership for Southern Equity.
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