Officials in the Washington region are considering whether to prioritize historically underserved areas with high concentrations of minority and low-income residents when deciding where to target affordable housing, transportation investments and other improvements.
Doing so, regional planners say, would encourage local leaders to focus affordable housing near major transit lines and build trails and sidewalks to help transit-dependent residents get to stations more safely on foot or bike. Completing the half-finished National Capital Trail Network, they say, would help more people reach transit-accessible jobs, while reducing traffic congestion and greenhouse gas emissions.
If approved, the plan would mark the first regional commitment to prioritize racial equity in planning for growth and allocating funding. In addition to guiding transportation investments, equity would be at the forefront of decisions affecting public health, housing, economic development, job growth and climate change.
The proposal grew out o
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