In our society today, financial status and property ownership too often dictate the kind of access that individuals enjoy to certain types of built or natural spaces and resources. For example, many spaces are restricted to only the wealthiest or most privileged among us, including in some cases privatization of nature such as beaches with restricted access. On the flip side, polluting factories are too often placed in communities inhabited by lower income or minority communities, diminishing the rights of the residents to clean air, water and soil. Equity is also impacted when a building is constructed in such a way that it casts a shadow over a neighboring structure, diminishing that structure’s ability to generate clean and renewable energy and impeding the rights to energy independence. We all deserve access to clean air, water, soil, and sunlight.
Equity Petal Intent
The Equity Petal is intended to encourage spaces that foster inclusiveness and community. Individuals of all economic and cultural backgrounds, including age, class, race, gender or sexual orientation, should have the opportunities to participate fully in community life. To be in the best position to make decisions that protect and restore the natural environment that sustains all of us, we need a society that values all segments of humanity and ensures equal access and fair treatment.
Additionally, equity implies the creation of communities that provide access to individuals with disabilities and welcomes those who use low cost forms of transportation to fully participate in the major elements of society.
Sustainability in Action at Hillside Gateway
Hillside Gateway rises to the standards set by the Equity Petal by providing universal access to nature and places by providing ample outdoor seating areas with shading where fresh air, sunlight, games and activities, and beautiful landscape can be enjoyed by all. Another way that the Equity Petal influenced the development of this project is by encouraging the design and construction team to seek out and partner with companies that have a demonstrated commitment to promoting diversity and equity in their business practices and prioritizing worker wellbeing and safety. P2S Engineering firm provided quality control oversight for the mechanical and engineering aspects of the project. This company is also a voluntary participant in the Just program, which is a platform for companies to disclose information about how they support social justice and equity through their treatment of their employees and financial and community investment approaches.