This document is written as a companion guide to the EI Lens training for city planners. It is meant to stimulate creative and transformational thinking around planning decisions, processes, and policies. It is not meant as a check-box exercise, rather it should be seen as a “living” document and ongoing process that needs to be constantly updated and engaged with to ensure city planning addresses the priorities of equity-seeking groups. Through a question and answer format, we highlight several practices and policies for planning for a more equitable and inclusive city. This is not an exhaustive or comprehensive list, nor does it cover the diverse lived experiences or issues of all equity-seeking groups in the city. Rather, it is meant to stimulate planners’ thinking about how to better integrate an intersectional and decolonial gender lens into planning for a more equitable and inclusive city.
This document also highlights some of the ways in which social exclusion intersects with spatial or physical planning, as well as examples of enhancing equity and inclusion. Planning can reinforce existing social and spatial inequities, or it can work to counter them as part of working towards a more just city. These are political choices influenced by municipal plans, the content of policies, the allocation of resources, power dynamics and the nature of decision-making processes. Planning for a more equitable and inclusive city necessarily involves integrating the lived experiences of equity- seeking groups into actual planning policies and practices, backed by resources and other forms of support from the city. It also involves constantly asking: what needs to be changed, reworked or reimagined to create a more just city?