Jay Pitter: Building Inclusive Communities

“We can’t seize future opportunities if we disregard the past,” said Jay Pitter, author and placemaker.

At the 2019 Detroit Policy Conference, Pitter emphasized the importance of creating an inclusive community to continue Detroit’s upward trajectory. Pitter, who is from Toronto, is an expert in social justice, spatial relations, and inclusive planning. She gave Detroiters a number of ideas to create inclusive communities.

Key takeaways from Pitter’s keynote discussion:

  • Pay respect to the history of a space when building new structures.
  • Create spaces that provide value, healing, and discovery. They should not only focus on appearance.
  • Tell stories with the spaces you are building.
  • Remember that urban design is not neutral; it has a history rooted in colonization and tense racial relations. Designers need to create spaces that respect our history while still moving toward the future.
  • Recognize local leaders and heroes who are building inclusive communities now.

This session was sponsored by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan.