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Building Equity into the

Design Process

Illustration that shows the skyline of Hoo City fronted by a highway. Among the skyline are the buildings for SDOT, Wahoo Engineering Group and Cumulus Co.

Welcome to
Hoo City!

Fortune 500 company Cumulus Co. is moving to Hoo City. The suburbs around the city are quickly expanding, leading to congestion and long commutes into the city.

People have raised this issue to their representatives, so the State is considering allocating funds for new infrastructure. The State’s Department of Transportion (SDOT) is pushing for the inclusion of funding earmarked for a new highway in the annual update for SDOT’s Six-Year Improvement Program (SYIP). Public comments are solicited for the SYIP, however, if you were to be frank, not widely.

How does this impact you?

An overhead view of car traffic.

Well, you are an engineer working for Wahoo Engineering Group, a consulting company on retainer with SDOT. You have been asked to lead a team to create recommendations for SDOT to address the transportation issues that have arisen due to the rapid urban sprawl. 

Pink Gradient

An equitable design process begins with understanding the needs of the communities that may be positively or negatively impacted. The health and cohesion of vulnerable, impoverished, or historically mistreated communities should not be a design trade-off.

Community needs can be, and typically are, excluded in making decisions during the design process. This is often due to engineers creating solutions to problems they have defined, without participation from communities who might be impacted.

What would you recommend as a first step in designing this infrastructure?

I would recommend >>

An illustration of the engineer for this project.

Let’s talk about how we can understand communities needs.

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