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4E Equitable Community Planning Toolkit

The Fourth Economy Equitable Community Planning Toolkit is a culmination of research and resources developed to help leaders progress through their equitable planning goals and actions. It includes information on how communities across the United States are rising to meet the equity imperative and tools to apply promising practices and systems change processes. 


Equity work is an ongoing process, and as such, this toolkit is designed to be a dynamic resource that we will continue to update. The opinions expressed and identification of promising practices are the responsibility of the team at Fourth Economy. 

A Call to Action

Equity Imperative - Achieving Long-Term Economic Success and Prosperity

Race and income-level are the best predictors of quality of life, health, education, and employment. Furthermore, studies have shown that cities, regions, and countries that are addressing inequities across lines of race and income can experience long-term economic success and prosperity for their community as a whole. For example, if our country closes the racial equity gap by 2050, it could realize an $8 trillion gain in GDP. 


That said, we focus on “development” that is more strongly attached to our values of progress and innovation, rather than a mere expansion or increase in numbers. From our perspective, the biggest goal of equitable economic development is to make sure that individuals are both benefactors and beneficiaries of community and economic development initiatives.

Toolkit Overview

Who Should Use the Toolkit


The toolkit is designed for use by: 

  • economic development organizations

  • community development organizations

  • philanthropic organizations

  • community leaders

  • public policy leaders

Reasons to Use the Toolkit


The toolkit is designed to help you and your community implement equitable planning practices into day-to-day processes and special projects. 


We contribute  to a growing body of available resources, complementing and supporting these initiatives. Our toolkit focuses on an approachable step-by-step framework for approaching systems change and side-by-side adaptable templates, complemented by resources and promising practice examples, so your community can take action.

View the Framework and Download the Toolkit Workbooks

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