DESCRIPTION: Urban Planning & Sustainable Development Coordinator

The Philadelphia Reparations Task Force Urban Planning & Sustainable Development Expert will lead community cohorts and an urban planning & sustainable development committee to develop reparations proposals that provide solutions to the issues of human ecology and metropolitan living among Black Philadelphians. The coordinator will provide pro bono professional expertise, excellent coordinating, and work with reparations stakeholders in Philadelphia. The coordinator will have experience in the sector, and experience in activism, social justice, grassroots community organizing, or reparatory justice. Task Force coordinator will: 

  • Develop, read, review, and write reports.
  • Coordinate meetings, dates, and timelines.
  • Build and maintain partnerships in their sector.
  • Conduct surveys and co-create related reports.
  • Advocate for the descendant group’s self-determination.
  • Develop and manage committees, subcommittees, and stakeholder relationships.
  • Participate in and lead courses, conferences, convenings, fundraising efforts, media and community forums, and public events.

The Philadelphia Reparations Task Force seeks a dedicated Urban Planning and Sustainable Development Expert to work to design an ecological model for geographic communities in the City that resolve issues around historical residential and spatial segregation, zoning, land use and placement of highways, transit, eminent domain and displacement, urban planning, and gentrification. This role is also responsible for addressing historical exclusions faced by Black Philadelphians in the procurement process, especially in real estate and urban development. The coordinator will champion the vision of fostering sovereign and self-determined communities and ensure that Black developers play a central role in shaping the city’s future.

The expert will audit, evaluate, and develop a report on the state of Black Philadelphia neighborhoods and how they can be more self-determined through reparations and reparative action in its various forms. The audit and report should include the ratio of Black employment contracts for Black professionals in their own neighborhoods and throughout Philadelphia, and simulate what Black neighborhoods and communities can look like if self-determined. The coordinator will blueprint how revitalizing natural ecosystems, infrastructures, and human services systems within Black communities throughout Philadelphia and the Delaware Valley can look like, including considerations to:

  • Developing comprehensive urban planning strategies that prioritize the needs and aspirations of the descendant group.
  • Strengthening cultural and economic systems for environmentally and ecologically safe communities, neighborhoods, including examining natural and artificial lighting, plant life and vegetation, air and noise pollution, and more.
  • Collaborating with local communities to understand their needs, ensuring their voices are central in the planning process. 
  • Transit: roadways, driving, fleet services, biking, SEPTA
  • Advocating for the use of green technologies and sustainable materials in all development projects.
  • Housing sustainability and durability / preparedness for environmental changes through masonry, plumbing, and the most effective and efficient practices to development.
  • Clean and green energy creation and consumption: solar panels on roofs; hydrogen fuel cell energy/based power sources for everyday practical use; e.t.c.
  • Water Department, Philadelphia Gas Works, Philadelphia Electric Company, and alternatives to effective reduce, reuse, recycle, upcycle, compost systems, clean waterways and sewer systems, e.t.c.
  • Public, private, and temporary land use
  • Medical centers, educational institutions, descendant owned business, recreational and play spaces, factories, transportation centers, telecommunications facilities, financial institutions, and permaculture.
  • Work towards the creation of self-determined communities, where the descendant group has autonomy over their neighborhoods.
  • Ensure these communities are equipped with the necessary resources and infrastructure for long-term sustainability.
  • Business Districting: Zoning, general and specific brick & mortar businesses, restaurant and produce markets, libraries and recreational spaces, concert venue and theater, museums and galleries, parks and indoor and outdoor lounges, recreational music, dance, and art studios, sports, exercise, and fitness facilities, banks and credit unions, CDCs and CDFIs, co-ops medical facilities, gardens, spaces designed for fun/playgrounds, co-working spaces, science labs, e.t.c.
  • Exploring the historical and current harms of environmental racism on Black communities in Philadelphia, including exposure to the ravages of climate change including flooding, lead in the water, the prevalence of asbestos, lack of green spaces, increased exposure to heat during the summer, air quality and the proximity of neighborhoods to toxic waste dumps.
  • Best ways to mitigate hazards, rodents, Pests, Infestations & improve hygiene. 
  • Strengthen Fire Department & Fire Prevention, Emergency Medical Services
  • Bolster local department stores and produce markets, provided that citizens have access to their needs during and beyond times of crisis.
  • Density, Diversity, Design, Destination Accessibility, Distance

Qualifications, Necessary Skills and Required Responsibilities:

  • Work experience in urban planning with a focus on sustainable and community-driven development.
  • Strong understanding of the historical and current challenges faced by Black Philadelphians in the procurement process.
  • Excellent communication, collaboration, and project management skills.
  • Passionate about creating positive change and advocating for the rights and needs of the descendant group.
  • Ability to organize, coordinate and develop best practices with multiple stakeholders in the field.