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.
Our collaboration initially focused on Green Infrastructure, building on Climate Interactive’s prior work in Milwaukee, WI. Since then, we have broadened our focus and arrived at the creation of the Just Growth Circle, a community engagement platform that works to bring residents greater leverage in advocating for equitable growth and decision-making.
Several important assumptions inform the design of the project:
- Equity is key to good decision making. We are grateful for PSE’s long experience and skill set in grounding conversations about health, transportation, energy, and economic opportunity in an equity framework.
- Scaling up sustainable infrastructure takes everyone. Our process includes participants from community-based groups, clean energy and water advocates, local universities, city leaders, and health experts, grappling with hard questions and sharing information and support.
- Systems tools can help people see a big picture and get big results. Our process relies both on simple systems thinking tools and more rigorous computer simulations to support strategic conversations and learning, all in service of the scaling up of equitable, sustainable solutions.
- Lasting change is built on a foundation of shared values and emerges from a group of diverse leaders. The process we are developing is being shaped by the participants’ needs, visions, and strategic thinking.
Video – the Dynamics of Displacement
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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