Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space

"A community’s physical form, rather than its land uses, is its most intrinsic and enduring characteristic." [Katz, EPA] This blog focuses on place and placemaking and all that makes it work--historic preservation, urban design, transportation, asset-based community development, arts & cultural development, commercial district revitalization, tourism & destination development, and quality of life advocacy--along with doses of civic engagement and good governance watchdogging.

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Equity as the sixth "E" in bike and pedestrian planning

Note: in 2015 I discovered that Minneapolis has made equity "the sixth E" in their active transportation planning.  See "Revisiting bicycle (and pedestrian) planning and the 6th 'E': equity and the City of Minneapolis Bicycle Master Plan."

Bicycle and pedestrian planning is shaped by what is referred to as the "5 'E's" of engineering (facilities), education, encouragement (programming), enforcement, and evaluation (really planning).

I have suggested that the next generation of improvements in bike and pedestrian planning need to more systematically deal with:

(1) a systematic consideration of bicycling needs by demographic--whereas now most bike plans cater to white men, who make up a majority of the riders, abetted by the fact that most plans just do quota sampling--put up a survey and use the results as proffered without addressing under-representation in certain demographic groups;

(2) integrating programming (encouragement) within programs, rather than just focusing mostly on building infrastructure;

(3) taking bike and pedestrian planning down to the next level from city- or county-wide planning to the district/sector and neighborhood scales.

One of the presentations at the National Bike Summit yesterday in the panel on the "Metro Urban Cyclist" was by Nicole Freedman, director of BostonBikes, the branded bicycle program of the City of Boston.

She addressed "Equity"--they have a bunch of great programs including reconditioning bikes and providing them to low-income residents and providing a subsidized membership for their bike sharing system for low-income residents also.

They structure this in terms of defining Equity as the "sixth 'E'" of bike (and pedestrian) planning.

I would argue this is extendable to planning more generally and it is a simple and powerful expression and definition and way to address my point about the necessity of integrating systematic demographic analytical approaches into next generation bike planning.

Just make Equity the "sixth 'E'."

It's simple and effective, in that it allows us to define equity in terms of serving all potential demographics by:

- gender
- age
- race and ethnicity
- income/class
- household type.

That enables (and admonishes) us to address everybody--men and women, young and old, families, rich and poor, by race and ethnicity.

This helps me to better express my concern that while special programs focusing on particular elements of the demographic spread are important (women, African-Americans, families, children, etc.), we must ensure that such initiatives are elements of a broader and complete demographic profile and set of programs.

Typically a community may have one or more such programs--as advocacy or governmental issues--but not a full spectrum of programming.

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At 2:16 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

Good point - I agree.


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