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We Plan CLE Conference Concentrates on Equity in City Planning

A conference on city planning kicks off in Cleveland this week, concentrating on the theme of equity in the city.

We Plan CLE

We Plan CLE begins tonight with a walking tour of the Detroit Shoreway neighborhood, highlighting the area’s climate equity. That includes things like why certain areas have pools or enclosed bus shelters, and why others don’t – and how that affects residents. Matthew Schmidt is on the executive committee of the Cleveland chapter of the American Planning Association, which is putting together the week-long series of events.

“We think about how communities are designed, and programs put in place, to help residents better adapt to climate conditions. Whether that be increased heat days [or] increased number and severity of storms.”

We Plan CLE is in its third year. The first conference looked at the theme of repurposing resources like empty buildings and vacant land in the city, and last year looked at taking action and inspiring change.

Schmidt says the success of the conferences lies not only in the conversations that continued beyond those events, but in the growing diversity of the people who attend the conference. Arthur Schmidt, an urban planner who is on the association’s executive committee, explains.

“Last year, I think we took an even bigger step in not only retaining those professionals who are interested in learning more. But we’ve got more individuals who are not your typical professionals -- urban planning is a design-related field ... they do every day. They’re more community activists or just like to partake in community events.”

A list of the events is available at the American Planning Association website.

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