Just Communities Protocol

The Standard for Equitable & Regenerative Development

We’re pleased to announce the release of the Just Communities Protocol v. 1.0

The new Just Communities Protocol 1.0 is a comprehensive and practical implementation framework and verification standard to unlock the power of resident leaders, community-based organizations, developers, and municipalities in advancing racially equitable and environmentally regenerative development of our built environment. It is designed to help deliver meaningful social, economic, and environmental outcomes in the areas of civic participation, housing, economic development, transportation, public health, safety, food, parks and open space, energy, water, and environmental protection.

Just Communities also represents the next generation of EcoDistricts – reimagined with the input from over eighty leading equitable and sustainable development practitioners. Our goal is to spark a new generation of community-scale development that effectively respond to our two most pressing challenge of our time – rising inequality and global warming.

How Just Communities Works

Just Communities includes three core elements – Pillars, Commitments and Actions – to help communities prioritize racial equity and climate resilience in every phase of the work; set clear goals and targets to determine what success looks like; create a collaborative governing body to drive the work, and build a comprehensive implementation roadmap to guides future development projects, programs, and policies. Each element of Just Communities helps to turn our principles into action and impact.

  1. Centering Racial and Climate Justice: The Protocol starts with an unwavering commitment to Racial Equity and Climate Resilience in every phase of organizing, planning, and implementing neighborhood-scale community development. We call these our Just Communities Pillars and they form the key imperatives that every community must address. The legacy and impact of structural and spatial racism and environmental injustice in land use policy and development – in the form of segregation, disinvestment, and displacement – has led to trapping millions of Black and historically disinvested communities of color in generational poverty (while others sustain wealth and privilege) and at constant risk from the growing impacts of climate change. This framework seeks to begin the important and necessary task of putting justice at the center of community development.
  2. Powerful Metrics to Shape Equity and Resiliency Outcomes: The Protocol includes a set of seventeen Just Communities Commitments organized into the five key categories – Belonging, Opportunity, Wellbeing, Mobility, Environment – to help communities tackle the most entrenched and complex challenges facing communities today – poverty, blight and deteriorating infrastructure, lack of economic opportunity, environmental pollution, climate disruption, and health inequities.
  3. Four Implementation Phases to Advance the Work: The Protocol includes seventeen discrete and practical Just Community Actions organized into four implementation phases. Each action includes guidelines, engagement tips, and templates to help stakeholders move community-scale projects from vision to reality. They include: 1) Groundwork, 2) Governance, 3) Roadmap, and 4) Implementation.

The new Protocol Includes:

  • Comprehensive set of 22 objectives, indicators, and targets to help communities make decisions and measure impact.
  • 17 Actions or implementation tasks to help communities move through the phases of development – from planning to implementation.
  • Practical tools to improve racial equity and climate resilience outcomes.
  • Resources to support collaboration, trust building, and alignment between community, public agencies, developers, and investors.
  • Guidance to identify key trends and baseline current conditions.
  • Key strategies to help communities design, implement, and resource a comprehensive implementation work plan.
  • Online resources, case studies, and best practices to support learning and knowledge transfer.
  • Technical assistance and support for communities seeking recognition through certification and practitioners seeking professional credentialing.
  • Represents the next generation of the EcoDistricts Protocol.

Download the Protocol today!