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PRINCIPLES FOR EQUAL JUSTICE AND HEALHTY PARKS, SCHOOLS, AND COMMUNITIES

NEWSLETTER WINTER 2007

The City Project and the Alianza have presented10 principles for equal justice in planning healthy parks, schools, and communities, and revitalizing the river.

Principle 1. Infrastructure decisions involving natural public places have widespread impacts on health, housing, development, investment patterns, and quality of life. The decision-making process and outcomes of those decisions must be fair and beneficial to all.

Principle 2. Infrastructure investments should be guided by a regional vision for a comprehensive web of communities, parks, schools, beaches, forests, rivers, mountains, and transit to trails to achieve results that are equitable; promote human health, the environment, and economic vitality; and serve diverse community needs.

Principle 3. Infrastructure areas should be planned together in complementary rather than conflicting ways to serve health, education, and human service needs; to fulfill critical governmental and societal responsibilities; and to produce equitable results.

Principle 4. Budget priorities within infrastructure areas should be thoroughly assessed through an equity lens. For example, there is a need for both active and passive recreation in natural public places. Urban and wilderness park advocates should work together. Schools must develop the body and mind of the child through physical education as well as academics. Principle 5. Employment and economic benefits associated with building and maintaining infrastructure, including parks, schools, and other natural public places, should be distributed fairly among all communities.

Principle 6. Revenues to support infrastructure improvements, including parks, schools, and other natural public places, should be collected and allocated fairly to distribute the benefits and burdens of these projects, and to overcome the pattern and history of unfair park, school, and health disparities.

Principle 7. Infrastructure decision-making should be transparent and include mechanisms for everyone to contribute to the planning and policymaking process.

Principle 8. Standards for measuring equity and progress should be articulated and implemented to hold agencies accountable for building healthy, livable communities for all.

Principle 9. Infrastructure investments and decisions involving natural public places, should proactively comply with federal and state laws designed to achieve equal access to public resources, including Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and its implementing regulations, California Government Code 11135, and the California statutory definition of environmental justice. Compliance with civil rights and environmental laws should be combined.

Principle 10. Government agencies and the philanthropic community must dedicate resources to enable community based organizations to serve their communities and actively participate in infrastructure planning and investments.