Planning for diversity and inclusion

Who are we planning for and how?

SESSION: Friday 22nd March, 3:50pm - 4:20pm
Bridget Murdoch

Frequently as planners we can find ourselves in a particular part of society, one where money talks and a lack of diversity can be evident in business meetings and offices. How often are we really thinking about the end users beyond the developer and not just developing with a narrow focus or to the status quo?

So often we have planners and academics telling us how to develop our cities but what if we started listening to the people cities are for? Could this create institutional change?

Discrimination is often amplified across different situations; we need to live inclusivity. As policy and decision makers we can't assume what works for one group will work for others. We need to have an intersectional lens because when you cater for diverse communities, it is beneficial for everyone.

Instead of approaching diversity and inclusion as something that needs to be done in addition to how we currently do things we need to change our mindset and start developing for these communities as the status quo. It's not about building accommodations into our work but leading with it.

To be able to do this we need those with those lived experiences to be part of the process, lifting the number of diverse communities in our workplaces - utilising and enhancing existing mechanisms to attract and support recruitment, development and retention of diverse staff.

This presentation explores some of the lived experiences of those navigating our cities and urban spaces as well as discussing how we get more diversity around the decision-making table. It will highlight the wins and the difference people have made when they are at the table.

Presented By

Bridget Murdoch

Senior Analyst, Ministry for the Environment

Bridget completed her Masters in Urban Planning in 2017 when she began her career as a resource consents planner for Auckland Council. After a couple years in the private sector Bridget joined the Ministry for the Environment (MfE) in March 2021 as an Analyst, and is now a Senior Analyst in the Urban and Infrastructure - Implementation team. Bridget is the co-chair for the Cross Agency Rainbow Network (CARN) and for the past 6 months has been helping to establish a Neurodiverse Employee Network.