Equity at MAPC


Smart Growth & Regional Collaboration

MAPC believes that achieving equity is paramount to the well-being and sustainable future of the Metro Boston region. In an equitable region, everyone has equal access to opportunities and each resident has a shot at growing up healthy, receiving a quality education, getting a good job that ensures quality of life, and enjoying life into old age.

An equitable Metro Boston is free from discrimination that marginalizes people based on race, sex, religion, disability, national origin, immigration status, sexual orientation, gender identity, family or marital status, income, military status, criminal history, or age. It holds up leaders from marginalized groups and centers the experiences of the disenfranchised. MAPC seeks to advance equity in the region through our organizational policies and project selection.


Regional Indicators

Land Surface Temperature and Vegetation Index

Demographic and Housing Demand Projections

Strategic plan

Department Priority

In MAPC’s Strategic Plan for 2015-2020, MAPC identified advancing equity in the region as one of four strategic priorities for the agency to focus on. The plan asserts that MAPC will play a leading role in helping the region to achieve equity. Over the five-year period, MAPC will weave efforts to address equity into project work and bring equity issues to the forefront.

State of Equity

In 2011, MAPC released “The State of Equity in Metro Boston,” a report providing compelling detail on inequality across many dimensions, including housing, transportation, public health, and contaminated environments. In response to these findings, the Executive Committee adopted “The State of Equity in Metro Boston Policy Agenda.” In 2017, MAPC produced a five-year update to the State of Equity report, tracking indicators over time.

Equity within MAPC

District Local Technical Assistance, or “DLTA” funds, are state grants distributed among the state’s 13 Regional Planning Agencies (RPAs) – including MAPC -- to provide cities and towns with money and technical staff to work on projects related to regional collaboration, economic development, zoning, and protecting the environment. Past DLTA grants have funded projects in disciplines as diverse as public health, fire safety, emergency dispatch, special education, emergency medical services, and disaster planning.

Year after year, DLTA project requests exceed the available funding from the state. This year, MAPC received requests for double the amount of funds available. DLTA was funded at just $2.8 million in the last four budgets, beginning in Fiscal 2014. This year, we are requesting that DLTA be level-funded at $2.8 million to allow the MAPC and other RPAs to continue providing a wide range of services that member municipalities require.

Equity Mission Statement

The Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) is a regional planning agency serving the people who live and work in the 101 cities and towns of Metropolitan Boston. Our mission is to promote smart growth and regional collaboration. Our regional plan, MetroFuture, guides our work as we engage the public in responsible stewardship of our region’s future.

We work toward sound municipal management, sustainable land use, protection of natural resources, efficient and affordable transportation, a diverse housing stock, public safety, economic development, clean energy, healthy communities, an informed public, and equity and opportunity among people of all backgrounds.

Equity Within MAPC

MAPC works to reflect the values that we strive for as a region in our work and office environment around equity, diversity, and inclusion.

Our strength lies in our diversity, and it should be fostered and supported. Our Agency should reflect the diversity that exists in Metro Boston and our work culture should be welcoming and embracing of all cultures and experiences.

The Equity Initiative at MAPC exists to support and carry out this mission. The Initiative is a cross-departmental group that meets regularly to influence the agency’s policies, programs, and office culture to ensure they are consistent with these values.

Every year, MAPC creates and implements an MAPC Equity Action Plan, which outlines action items to advance equity and cultural competency across the agency.

MAPC Equity Action Plan items include:

Education and training

  • Educational, networking, and discussion sessions
  • Bystander intervention training
  • Anti-oppression training


  • Ensure alignment of team’s activities with Strategic Plan implementation and Work Plan
  • Update Equity in Action projects analysis

Relationship building

  • Continue to build relationships with organizations whose core mission includes advancing equity

Human Resources

  • Work with HR to determine best strategy for advancing diversity and inclusion in recruitment, retention, and advancement practices

Equity in the Region

To create MetroFuture, MAPC’s regional plan for growth through the year 2030, thousands of people came together to talk about a future they wanted for the region. They envisioned an equitable region, in which “all people have full and equal access to opportunities that enable them to attain their full potential.”

In 2008, MAPC launched its State of Equity Initiative to build on the MetroFuture regional plan and to help advance its goals. The initiative has two ongoing elements: Developing and monitoring key indicators of regional equity and identifying key policy recommendations to move the region towards its goals.

To achieve a more equitable region, MetroFuture identified key goals to help eliminate unfair, preventable, and systematic differences between groups in the region. These focus areas included health outcomes, medical care, education, transportation options, and combatting segregation through a diversity of housing types. Objectives in the plan were tied to trackable indicators such as educational attainment rates or average incomes.


In 2011, MAPC released The State of Equity in Metro Boston, the first in a series of indicator reports to monitor the region’s progress toward achieving goals set out by the MetroFuture plan. To keep track of indicators in the future, MAPC launched the MAPC Regional Indicators website in 2014.

The report was followed by a State of Equity Policy Agenda, which updated MetroFuture implementation strategies based on the findings of the 2011 State of Equity Report. The policy agenda gives recommendations the region can use to meet its 2030 equity goals given the realities of the regions challenges.

In 2017, MAPC released the first update to the State of Equity report, showing how MetroBoston had changed over five years, where the region was making progress, and in what areas it was struggling. The update showed that the region had made some progress in closing critical gaps, though large disparities remained.