Home » Issues » Equitable Development

Equitable Development


Equitable development meets the needs of overburdened communities and individuals through projects, programs, and/or policies that reduce poverty, low wealth, health and other disparities while fostering places that are healthy, vibrant, and diverse.

Strategic Guiding Principles:
1)      Ensure meaningful community participation, leadership, and ownership in community development efforts.

2)      Integrate community development strategies that focus on people with those focused on improving places.

3)      Promote investments in the community that are catalytic, coordinated, and result in a triple bottom line.

4)      Reduce local and regional economic, health, employment, transportation and environmental disparities.


Traditional sprawl patterns driven by governmental and private sector programs and expenditures disinvested many urban, suburban and rural communities resulting in a combined host of disadvantages and disparities for community residents and businesses including:

•  Transit shortages and struggling schools

•  Lack of access to healthy, affordable food

•  Disparate environmental and health impacts

•  Discriminatory lending and insurance practices

•  Brownfields, abandoned and vacant properties

•  Unemployment, under-employment and poverty


Equitable development is a comprehensive process of planning and investments that tackles deeply entrenched community issues of poverty, economic barriers, environmental quality and health. Economic opportunity is a cornerstone of equitable development, particularly within communities facing the additional challenges associated with contaminated, vacant or distressed properties. Where there are opportunities to clean up and sustainably re-use these types of sites, the timing is ripe to integrate and invest in equitable development.

This is a process grounded by community engagement that process involves residents, property owners, workers, local businesses, planners, government officials and developers cooperatively engaging in decisions and investments in order to address past inequities, while simultaneously creating a new vision for a sustainable future. The foundation for creating strong, economically resilient and livable communities is increasingly built upon a spectrum of place-based activities that develop improved community revitalization tools and strategies.


EPA Equitable Development Webinar: Brownfields Renewal and Community Anti-Displacement Models

Tuesday, October 14, 2015, 2:00pm to 3:00pm EDT

The October 14th webinar focuses on two highly successful equitable development models of community ownership and wealth building. This is a hands-on opportunity to learn from local leaders. Gain an insider’s view of these pioneer­ing community building strategies, practical tools and know-how. Participants will learn about Evergreen Worker Cooperatives, flourishing for-profit green businesses, and the ways that the companies are building equity and wealth and retaining financial resources in the community. Participants will also learn about Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative’s Community Land Trust, Dudley Neighbors Incorporated, and the challenges of creating a thriving urban village with permanent affordable housing, a community greenhouse and farm, and other amenities.

Details can be found here. (PDF)

Register Here