Equitable Development

Seattle’s Equitable Development Initiative is the City of Seattle’s long term commitment to invest in communities of different races, ethnic backgrounds, and incomes. Equitable development is a way to create vibrant, heathy communities through public and private investments in neighborhoods that the private market has not sustained. Public investment creates opportunities both for current residents and new arrivals. From transportation infrastructure to investments in affordable housing, we know City government has a critical role to play in moving the needle on achieving equitable outcomes for all.


City of Seattle: Our Work

The City of Seattle’s Community Cornerstones program demonstrates the power of a collective impact model for equitable development. Its aim is to strengthen Seattle’s most economically and culturally diverse communities while also welcoming new residents and businesses. Neighborhood plans drafted by local residents help guide community development resulting from the introduction of light rail service in Southeast Seattle. The program’s strategies ensure that existing low-income communities and communities of color participate in and benefit from decisions that shape their neighborhoods. The City of Seattle Office of Housing manages the Community Cornerstones Program in partnership with the Office of Economic Development, Department of Planning and Development, and the Department of Neighborhoods.

To address long term impacts related to housing, transportation, jobs and infrastructure, the Department of Planning and Development is working to incorporate racial equity into the City’s Comprehensive Plan, a 20-year vision and roadmap for Seattle’s future growth and livability.

As part of our commitments to addressing racial inequitable outcomes in development and access to transportation under RSJI and Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, the Seattle Office for Civil Rights is working with the Seattle Department of Transportation to ensure that the new Center City Connector, a segment that will link the South Lake Union and First Hill Streetcar lines, creating a system that will connect over a dozen Seattle neighborhoods in Seattle’s Center City, meets the City's commitment to ensuring meaningful access and participation by communities of color, Limited English speakers, and people with disabilities.

Get Involved

RSJI works with community-based organizations to support the movement to end structural racism. Click on the links below to learn more and get engaged.