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FOSTERING INCLUSIVE COMMUNITIES ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT > ENVIRONMENTAL DESIGN > > EQUITY > GOVERNANCE > HEALTH > HOUSING > > JOB CREATION > MOBILITY > POVERTY ALLEVIATION > > REAL ESTATE > UNIVERSAL DESIGN > >

> DEPARTMENT OF URBAN STUDIES AND PLANNING MIT


After years of decline in the United States and abroad, cities are experiencing renewal, driven in part by the private sector. At the same time, many low-income, minority, and migrant communities lack adequate housing, infrastructure, public services, and economic opportunities. To truly deliver on the promise of the city, we must take advantage of every opportunity to create vibrant, inclusive communities for all residents.

FOSTERING INCLUSIVE COMMUNITIES

> COMMUNITY INNOVATION IN THE COLOMBIAN PACIFIC

The Colombian Pacific Region is one of the most ecologically diverse areas in the world, with extraordinary natural, human and cultural resources. In 2013, DUSP faculty and staff initiated a multi-year engagement that included piloting the ‘Pacific Power’ Community Innovation School with a group of 60 Afro and Indigenous leaders. The program supports networks of leaders exploring critical questions of economic development, political mobilization, and multi-sector collaboration on the subnational scale. Currently, efforts are focused on the incorporation of Afro Colombian proposals in the national peace process. J. Phil Thompson

> CONFLICT AND NEIGHBORLINESS IN POST-GENOCIDE RAWANDA

This project focuses on international development in the context of post-conflict and post-disaster rebuilding. Specifically it explores how the government employed architecture and planning to conceptualize peace, manage conflict, and define citizenship in Rwanda; and how rural residents experience these projects and live together, side by side, after genocide. The work will substantiate the value of a “spatial turn” in peace and conflict studies and will offer original research on modes of post-genocide repair at the juncture of neighborly interactions and national policy. Delia Wendel

DEPARTMENT OF URBAN STUDIES AND PLANNING MIT

> LIVING WAGE CALCULATOR

In many American communities, families working in low-wage jobs make insufficient income to live locally given the local cost of living. Recently, in a number of high-cost communities, community organizers and citizens have successfully argued that the prevailing wage offered by the public sector and key businesses should reflect a wage rate required to meet minimum standards of living. Therefore we have developed a living wage calculator to estimate the cost of living in your community or region. The calculator lists typical expenses, the living wage and typical wages for the selected location. Amy Glasmeier

> BUILDING CAPACITY FOR COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

Community-based organizations are expanding their missions to include green development and energy efficiency, job creation, political organizing, asset building, and the execution of complex real estate deals. Working in partnership with public and nonprofit partners, faculty and students at DUSPMIT build planning capacity at the local level, through skills workshops and the development of interactive software tools to help community groups find and use data. Ezra Glenn


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THE SOCIAL IMPACT INVESTING FOR HEALTH

NEW ORLEANS COMMERCIAL CORRIDOR REVITALIZATION STRATEGY

The Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) and other partners are currently creating a $30 million private equity fund that will invest in transformative, mixed use transit-oriented development real estate projects in Massachusetts. They are launching a study to examine the effects of transit-oriented development investments on neighborhood conditions, residents and their health. We will follow intervention and matched control communities longitudinally to clarify the role of social impact investing in creating healthier neighborhoods and to provide important insights about the connection between the built environment and health. Mariana Arcaya

> CIVIC DESIGN NETWORK

Civic Engagement and Public Participation are central tools for planners. The Civic Design Network is comprised of planners, activists, organizers, artists, and others dedicated to broaden the array of tools and knowledge available to strengthen the public’s voice and power in democracy. Through workshops, class and collaborative projects with communities and practitioners, DUSP students assist in the design of new engagement strategies, and in turn, they improve their public engagement design and facilitation skills. Ceasar McDowell DEPARTMENT OF URBAN STUDIES AND PLANNING MIT

Working with Broad Community Connections, a community-based non-profit Main Streets organization, and a multistakeholder community advisory committee to prepare a citywide corridor revitalization strategy for New Orleans. The strategy will propose city policies and programs and actions by other funders and stakeholders to provide more comprehensive support to strengthening New Orleans’ commercial corridors and aligning their development with key city equity, housing and resilience goals. It will be based on: assessing the work of several corridor revitalization initiatives in New Orleans; an analysis of existing resources and gaps in “ecosystem” supporting corridor revitalization; research on corridor revitalization programs in other US cities. Karl Seidman


Design: Mario Avila Design

DUSP/MIT: Fostering Inclusive Communities  
DUSP/MIT: Fostering Inclusive Communities  

Since its founding 80 years ago, the Department of Urban Studies and Planning at MIT has consistently been rated the premier planning school...

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