American Planning Association Releases Equity in Zoning Policy Guide

Feb 15, 2023

The American Planning Association released the Equity in Zoning Policy Guide, which builds off of the organization’s previous version along with policy guides on other topics such as housing and healthy communities. The Massachusetts Healthy Aging Collaborative applauds the APA for prioritizing older adults in this resource and encourages communities working to become age- and dementia friendly to consider its recommendations.

Equitable planning is essential to eliminate those zoning and design regulations that disproportionately burden Black, Latino/a/x, Tribal, Indigenous, and other communities
of color, older adults, persons experiencing disabilities, persons of different national origins or religious faiths, and the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning,
intersex, and asexual/ally (LGBTQIA) community — which are often referred to in this document as “historically disadvantaged and vulnerable” communities and individuals.

The goal of the APA Policy Guide is to identify specific ways in which the drafting, public engagement, application, mapping, and enforcement of zoning regulations can be changed to dismantle the barriers that perpetuate the separation of historically disadvantaged and vulnerable communities.

Aside from a subsection on “aging in place,” references to older adults are made throughout in relation to universal design, housing, pedestrian safety and the importance of parks and public spaces, among other features.

For more information, check out the APA Equity in Zoning Policy Guide here.