ULI’s commitment to equitable development is especially important now as recent events spotlight vast inequalities in the United States.
At the time of this writing, more than 189,000 American lives have been lost to the virus causing COVID-19. A disproportionate number of those deaths are among African Americans, many living in poverty and considered at high risk due to poor living conditions. Protests that erupted across the country after the death in Minneapolis of George Floyd, a Black man killed by a white police officer, were powered in part by anger about systemic conditions that for generations have suppressed the economic mobility—and therefore quality of life—of many people of color.
Advancing equitable development—aimed at reducing disparities and promoting healthy, vibrant places—can have a significant positive impact on some of the social challenges of our times. Also important is that equitable development makes good business sense. Studies have shown that regions that value equity and inclusion outperform those that do not and sustain healthy rates of economic growth.