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DC Office of Planning’s Commitment to Racial Equity

The Office of Planning (OP) is tasked with planning for the long-term growth of the District of Columbia, to help ensure it reflects our values of an inclusive and vibrant city. We help the District work toward a positive future in which all District residents can thrive, regardless of income, race, age, or background. To live up to this mission of achieving an equitable District, we must examine our past and current practices and implement a guiding narrative to ensure equity is embedded in all of our work.

OP Racial Equity Narrative

The District of Columbia Office of Planning (OP) acknowledges that urban planning has been part of systems that, through racially discriminatory and exclusionary policies, have harmed Black residents, other people of color, and their communities.

Recognizing the continuing effects of this legacy, OP is working to achieve racial equity, which we define as when race no longer drives disparities or life outcomes for District residents, and when everyone has equitable access to opportunities and what they need to thrive, inclusive of all identities and no matter where they live.

OP is committed to applying a racial equity lens both in our internal operations and external work and to confronting and rejecting structural racism where it exists. We commit to advancing racial equity through transparent processes, centering community voices in planning, maximizing accessibility of our services and programs, and holding ourselves accountable for the impact of our work.

We will name and address inequities when we encounter them. We will build a planning practice centered on racial equity for land use; design and preservation; and the built environment. We will continue to advance racial equity to increase affordable housing, inclusive economic opportunities, and healthy neighborhoods where all residents can access what they need to achieve equitable outcomes.

OP is interested in your feedback on the Racial Equity narrative. We invite you to share your comments with us at [email protected] or by calling 202-442-7600.

OP Racial Equity Action Plan Coming Soon

OP’s Racial Equity Action Plan provides a space for the agency to set short- and mid-term goals and priorities to advance racial equity in the agency’s work and internal processes. 

Office of Racial Equity

Established by Mayor Bowser in 2021, the Office of Racial Equity, focuses on developing an infrastructure to ensure policy decisions and District programs are evaluated through a racial equity lens; the office also carries forward the implementation of the Racial Equity Achieves Results “REACH Act” (D.C. Act 23-521). OP partners with this office to ensure our core activities make meaningful progress toward a more equitable city.