Urban development, whether it involves land use decisions or tech innovations, directly and indirectly impacts low income communities. Because of language, cultural or job-related reasons, these communities are often not represented when decisions by government or businesses are being made. This was the case in 2002 when the Association of Bay Area Government’s Regional Footprint Project was engaged in land use planning for all nine Bay Area counties.
ABAG sought out the Livable Communities Initiative to help. LCI’s Director, Edward Church, had extensive experience working in low income communities. He devised an innovative way to bring the issues confronting those communities to the regional planning process: through a video which would be shown at planning meetings in all of the nine counties. To write and film the video, Voices from the Community: Social Equity and Smart Growth, Ed commissioned Earth House Center and Urban Habitat Program.