Architect's Role in Creating Equitable Communities: Call to Action

Start-up team planning and communicating on a meeting in the office. The view is through the glass.

Start-up team planning and communicating on a meeting in the office. The view is through the glass.

We have unique skills with the capacity to impact socio-economic and quality of life factors for innumerable populations beyond our projects' boundaries. We have the agency to make decisions about how we apply our education and experience, how we bring others into the design process, and how we choose to challenge ourselves, our project teams, our firms, our partners, and our industry. And we have power that, history reveals, is farther reaching than many of us realize or acknowledge. It is within our abilities and best interests as citizens and designers to create environments that provide for the needs of all. This resource aims to provide tactical steps towards creating more equitable communities and the context to spur action. It’s up to all of us to adopt these into our practices.

Consider the following:

  • Share this resource with other members of the architecture and design community and point them to specific sections to nudge them towards exploration.
  • Adopt one action into your practice that feels possible immediately. Revisit the resource regularly to contemplate when and how to boost your approaches and processes with other new actions.
  • Host a discussion with your team or office. Review a particular section or set of actions from this resource. Discuss what changes to mindsets or methods might be beneficial.
  • Propose an audit of your team’s or firm’s approaches to engaging with the community. Translate the findings into changes to practice, if needed, and share the experience with other designers, project teams, or firms.
  • Consider how your experience and learnings from this resource might affect policy. Get involved at any level – join a neighborhood council or get elected to a board; attend community meetings; run for office or serve on a planning, housing, or zoning commission – and share your knowledge.

This resource aims to provide tactical steps towards creating more equitable communities and the context to spur action. It’s up to all of us to adopt these actions and practices into our daily lives.

Image credits

Start-up team planning and communicating on a meeting in the office. The view is through the glass.

iStock, skynesher