COVID-19 has exposed the racial and wealth inequalities that existed previously and have only been exacerbated during the pandemic. Historically, investments in infrastructure have been seen as a lever for economic stability following a crisis and an equity lens has been absent.
The creation of the Equitable Infrastructure resource document was initially submitted to
Infrastructure Canada in response to the National Infrastructure Assessment grounded in framing infrastructure types using an equitable placemaking lens.
The Community Foundations of Canada convened a diverse range of stakeholders and Jay Pitter was the lead author and process facilitator. Together with practitioners, funders, organizers, and academics leading transformative place-based initiatives across multiple disciplines, the collective has co-created a robust response to the recent federal call for submissions.
The collective is pleased to share this resource document with colleagues, communities and decision-makers interested in deepening their understanding of the critically important role that equitable infrastructure can play in COVID-19 recovery strategies. The resource document endeavours to both expand and critically redefine the term infrastructure. Then, employing an equity-based placemaking lens, it unpacks the different types of infrastructure that we identified:
- physical infrastructure
- social infrastructure
- participatory and democratic infrastructure
- digital infrastructure
- economic infrastructure
The natural environment is positioned as core and foundational, in recognition of its sovereignty and sacredness.
“As a collective, we believe that first and foremost, infrastructure should connect us to each other, as well as to evidence-based information, the natural environment and opportunities. ”Pitter, J., et al., (2021, August). Equitable Infrastructure: A resource framing infrastructure types using an equitable placemaking lens, communityfoundations.ca.
Each infrastructure type section contains rich practice insights, theoretical frameworks, precedents and prompts to ensure that future infrastructure investments benefit everyone.
Centering equity, shifting power and making sure investments in infrastructure are #drivenbycommunity will be essential to a recovery where no one is left behind.