A few weeks ago, a blog post introduced the third part of an article series about the sustainable city pLAn of Los Angeles by Mayor Eric Garcetti.
The fourth part of the series was published on August 7th and focused on the third and final section of the pLAn, Equity.
The section on equity specifically mentions that building equity in LA ensures that all residents have access to healthy, livable neighborhoods–which are the hallmarks of the Plan4Health partnership between planning and public health.
The Equity section of the pLAn is split into four categories:
- air quality
- environmental justice
- urban ecosystem
- livable neighborhoods
The urban ecosystem and livable communities are important to overall health. The pLAn makes food security and access to fresh food a hallmark of the plan. The creation of green spaces within a half-mile of 75% of LA residents by 2035 is also included. This is in addition to Vision Zero, a pedestrian and cyclist safety initiative.
Livable communities encompasses many things and the pLAn prioritizes community events in public spaces, local volunteer opportunities, access to local, sustainable, and healthy food and the overall vibrancy of city streets.
What constitutes a vibrant street, really depends on who you ask. These benchmarks point to the Great Streets plan already in existence. But the pLAn wants to use Great Streets and other improvements to “enhance economic development, improve commercial and civic life, decrease retail vacancy rates and enhance safety.” However, Great Streets focuses on maintaining regular infrastructure, not on creating changes to increase equity.
The author presents a great argument for coalitions and partnerships such as those that were created or strengthened during the Plan4Health project. These coalitions and partners can advocate local and state officials to establish public policy that is enforceable and accountable to residents whose tax dollars will be spent to implement those policies.