The Puget Sound Regional Council (PSRC) is the regional planning organization for the central Puget Sound region. The region comes together at PSRC to make decisions about transportation, growth management and economic development. PSRC is composed of over 80 jurisdictions, including four counties, cities and towns, ports, state and local transportation agencies and tribal governments within the region.
As the organization responsible for long-range planning in the region, PSRC has an important role in understanding and communicating the impacts that planning decisions have on communities. PSRC develops tools, policies, and actions that help policy makers evaluate and mitigate these impacts.
PSRC is working towards centering equity in regional plans and decision-making. Efforts to date include:
The Growing Transit Communities Strategy calls for regional and local actions that respond to the challenges and opportunities in transit communities and implementing the region’s growth strategy.
The strategy has three goals:
•Attract more of the region’s residential and employment growth near high-capacity transit.
•Provide housing choices affordable to a full range of incomes near high-capacity transit.
•Increase access to opportunity for existing and future community members in transit communities.
The Growing Transit Communities Partnership developed 24 strategies and identified specific actions for PSRC, transit agencies, local governments, and other regional partners. The recommendations address the three main goals for transit communities. As a whole, the strategies are a call to action for partners across the region to redouble efforts to create great urban places and build equitable communities around transit. Fully recognizing the strong policy foundation embodied in regional and local plans, as well as the innovative work in implementing those plans to date, the partnership makes these recommendations as a challenge to do more than is being doing today.
The recently adopted (2018) Regional Transportation Plan includes social equity and increasing access to opportunity as two of the key outcomes used to evaluate the Regional Transportation Plan. Additional information is included in the Equity Analysis Report. The regional economic strategy, Amazing Place (2017), includes advancing social equity and affordable housing as new areas of emphasis.
PSRC is actively working with its Growth Management Policy Board to center equity in the development of VISION 2050, the region’s long-range plan. To date, this has included an Equity Briefing Paper, an extended work session with our board to provide direction and begin to develop policies center equity, and tools to measure risk of displacement and areas of opportunity.