I had the pleasure of participating in an all-star panel at the annual meeting of the American Planning Association Maryland Chapter to talk about integrated strategies to facilitate inclusive economic development.

Ryan Price of Lisa Sturtevant & Associates kicked it off with a discussion of the importance of inclusive communities and ways local planners can be at the forefront of developing integrated policies and plans that can help build inclusive and diverse communities.

Ellen Harpel addressed how economic development and inclusive community initiatives share some objectives, such as increasing the number quality jobs and creating healthy, opportunity-rich places.  Several types of financial, workforce, and tax incentive programs exist to support these objectives.

Lisa Sturtevant discussed the implications of rising housing costs that stem from new economic development investments. She also discussed specific land use and zoning tools, preservation programs, and financial tools that can help expand and preserve housing options in a growth environment.

Michael Spotts described how effective transportation and housing planning coordination enhances mobility, affordability and inclusion. Critical to the conversation is an understanding of who is being served by mobility investments and the accompanying gains – those with the highest incomes or those with the fewest options?

How can local communities develop integrated land use, economic development, housing and transportation policies and plans to promote inclusive development and ensure that all residents benefit from growth?

Leaders are paying more attention to how housing policy and transportation investments interact with economic development. If this is a topic of interest to you, contact me at ellen@smartincentives.org for a copy of our presentation or if you would like us to speak at your next event.

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