Greenlining Framework Shows How to Include Community Voices, End Neglect of Low-Income Neighborhoods & Communities of Color

Bruce Mirken, Greenlining Institute Media Relations Director, 510-926-4022; 415-846-7758 (cell)

OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA – For too long, advocates say, transportation planners have focused on cars rather than people while neglecting communities of color and low-income neighborhoods. To shift this pattern, The Greenlining Institute offers planners and community advocates a step-by-step guide to a more community-centered planning process, with its Mobility Equity Framework: How to Make Transportation Work for People, released today.

“Good transportation planning starts with human needs and figures out how to meet those needs,” explained Greenlining Environmental Equity Manager Hana Creger, lead author of the Framework. “Too often, planners have focused on cars, resulting in projects that actually harm communities rather than meeting their needs. This framework provides a step-by-step approach to making sure we put people first.”

Focusing specifically on low-income communities of color — most often left out of planning decisions — the Framework outlines a three-step process for a) determining the community’s transportation needs, b) conducting a mobility equity analysis that evaluates such factors as affordability, accessibility and impacts on air pollution, and c) putting affected communities at the center of final decision-making. The Framework urges use of a Participatory Budgeting process, a democratic form of decision-making that has gained support at the Metropolitan Transportation Commission in the Bay Area and at Caltrans.

“Too often we’ve seen freeways divide and damage neighborhoods while failing to serve the people who live in them,” Creger said. “We hope this Framework will help both transportation planners and community members ensure that human needs come first.”


A Multi-Ethnic Public Policy, Research and Advocacy Institute