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Report Summary:

The Shaw Symposium is an annual forum endowed by former ULI chairman Charles “Charlie” H. Shaw that brings together a selection of leading national experts and practitioners to address the challenges and opportunities of urban neighborhoods. The 2021 virtual event focused on the nexus of infrastructure, housing, and equity.

As the United States begins to emerge from a tumultuous year, Congress debates a series of infrastructure packages, and communities increasingly shift their focus to recovery, it is important to look to the future informed by the knowledge of the past. Many of the challenges facing today’s cities and neighborhoods are linked to the decisions made decades ago. These decisions include positive, transformational investments in transit, parks, and other community assets that have been critical to restoring urban vibrancy. However, they also include the disastrous legacy of redlining, segregation, and the intentional dismantling of neighborhoods—all of which have produced generational harm for minority households and Black families in particular. A new, more equitable approach to regional planning and investment is critical, not only because it is morally just, but also because it is a key aspect of economic growth and opportunity.  As such, a distinguished group of 2021 Shaw Symposium attendees elevated leading practices that have informed this summary report, which includes high-level recommendations and a framework to assist local communities in designing and implementing infrastructure investments.

The goals of this framework are to achieve the following:

  • Enable equitable access to transportation, particularly transit.
  • Improve access to and affordability of housing for moderate- and lower-income households.
  • Reconnect and reinvigorate neighborhoods damaged by past infrastructure investments.
  • Address historical disparities in community investment, particularly those based on race, and ensure equitable access to the economic opportunities and the benefits of development.
  • Improve health, enhance environmental sustainability, and reduce climate risks. 

Report Summary: The Shaw Symposium is an annual forum endowed by former ULI chairman Charles “Charlie” H. Shaw that brings together a selection of leading national experts and practitioners to address the challenges and opportunities of urban neighborhoods. The 2021 virtual event focused on the nexus of infrastructure, housing, and equity.

As the United States begins to emerge from a tumultuous year, Congress debates a series of infrastructure packages, and communities increasingly shift their focus to recovery, it is important to look to the future informed by the knowledge of the past. Many of the challenges facing today’s cities and neighborhoods are linked to the decisions made decades ago. These decisions include positive, transformational investments in transit, parks, and other community assets that have been critical to restoring urban vibrancy. However, they also include the disastrous legacy of redlining, segregation, and the intentional dismantling of neighborhoods—all of which have produced generational harm for minority households and Black families in particular. A new, more equitable approach to regional planning and investment is critical, not only because it is morally just, but also because it is a key aspect of economic growth and opportunity.  As such, a distinguished group of 2021 Shaw Symposium attendees elevated leading practices that have informed this summary report, which includes high-level recommendations and a framework to assist local communities in designing and implementing infrastructure investments.

The goals of this framework are to achieve the following:

  • Enable equitable access to transportation, particularly transit.
  • Improve access to and affordability of housing for moderate- and lower-income households.
  • Reconnect and reinvigorate neighborhoods damaged by past infrastructure investments.
  • Address historical disparities in community investment, particularly those based on race, and ensure equitable access to the economic opportunities and the benefits of development.
  • Improve health, enhance environmental sustainability, and reduce climate risks. 
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Shaw Symposium on Urban and Community Issues

The 2021 virtual event focuses on the nexus of infrastructure, housing, and equity.  As the US begins to emerge from a tumultuous year, Congress debates an infrastructure package, and communities increasingly shift their focus to recovery, it is impo...
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Centers and Initiatives
Terwilliger Center for Housing

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