MSU EDA University Center for

Regional Economic Innovation

E-Update | April 2024

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Student-Led Faculty Guided Technical Assistance Project Award

Department of Urban Studies and Planning at Wayne State University

Wayne State University, Carolyn Loh, PhD, has been awarded for her SLFG project titled, Attitudes Toward and Knowledge Gaps about Equity Among Practicing Planners. Loh states that: "The American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) Code of Ethics calls upon all practitioners to “incorporate equity principles and strategies as the foundation for preparing plans and implementation programs to achieve more socially just decision-making.” However, the reality of planning with equity in mind is complicated. Some planners work in communities that broadly support equity goals; others do not. Some planners work in communities with the resources to create major public investments, while other planners must try to improve equity in very under-resourced communities. Planners in private practice must balance their own principles with the need to retain clients, who may have their own priorities. Increasing the emphasis on social equity in urban and regional planning is a core goal of both the academic association (ACSP) and the professional association (APA) of planners in the US. In Michigan, the Social Equity Committee of the Michigan Association of Planning (MAP), the Michigan State chapter of the American Planning Association, has in recent years conducted research on how local governments are incorporating equity goals into their comprehensive plans." This Student-Led Faculty Guided project seeks to identify attitudes toward and knowledge gaps about equity among practicing planners to help direct future research efforts.

Student-Led Faculty-Guided (SLFG) projects focus on providing assistance to Michigan communities in completing local and regional economic development initiatives. Work is completed by students at colleges and universities throughout the state, under the supervision of experienced faculty. Through these projects, students gain firsthand and practical experience in the application of previously studied theory, and economic development professionals receive technical assistance that might not otherwise be available. Funded by the U.S. Department of Commerce - Economic Development Administration (EDA), and with additional support from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), REI is excited to announce this ninth SLFG project award for 2024.
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