Equitable Development Principles & Scorecard

The Equitable Development Principles & Scorecard is a tool to answer the question: “How can development repair past harms and contribute to a stronger, more inclusive and thriving community?”

The social, physical, and historic landscape both defines and reflects the dominant powers in our communities.  From the theft of Indigenous lands to the exclusion of communities of color from property ownership, generations of intentional policies and practices have stripped power and decision-making around development from low-wealth, immigrant and Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) communities. Now, Minnesota leads the nation in health and wealth disparities and feelings of exclusion among BIPOC residents.

This tool provides a framework to reclaim power and ensure that development is not an isolated project but rather becomes an integral piece of a collective commitment to create wealth, opportunity and stability for historically and systemically marginalized communities.

The Alliance partnered with the Harrison Neighborhood Association, Umoja Community Development Corporation, and members of the Community Engagement Steering Committee to create the 2016 Equitable Development Principles & Scorecard, which helps communities ensure that the principles and practices of equitable development, environmental justice, and affordability are available to all residents. In 2020-2021, the Alliance worked with community partners to update the Scorecard and add a new Livability Principle to the evolving tool.

Alliance staff convenes interested stakeholders and engaged leaders on a regular basis to come together and share their successes and learnings with the Scorecard. To be added to the group, please contact joohee@thealliancetc.org.

Organizations and entities across the region are now adapting and using this tool to build power and accountability in their communities. Read and watch the case studies below that share the many ways the scorecard is being leveraged and the lessons learned from the communities putting it to use!


From Acknowledgment to Action in a Government Agency

Since Spring 2020, the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board has initiated, funded and started to implement  an Indigenous Acknowledgement and Reconciliation Action Plan. Growing from desire to create a land acknowledgment and deepening into a codified commitment to center and include Minneapolis’s significant Indigenous communities, this plan seeks to integrate truth, reconciliation, and acknowledgment of Indigenous land, people, and nations into all of MPRB’s work. At our March 2024 convening of the Scorecard Enthusiasts, we heard reflections and insights from Carrie Christensen, a Senior Project Manager at the Minneapolis Parks and Recreation Board; Carrie Day Aspinwall of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe/Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe and MPRB’s first Indigenous Parks Liaison; and Darek Delille of the Bad River Ojibwe and Manager of Make Voting a Tradition & Civic Engagement at the Native Community Development Institute.

Download the recap

History, Healing & Community Power: Indigenous Perspectives on Equitable Development

At our 2022 Equitable Development Symposium, we underscored the wisdom that “land is a way to hold political, social and economic power” — but failed to reckon with what that means in the context of a nation built on stolen lands and enslaved labor. At our 2023 Fall Gathering of the Scorecard Enthusiasts, we discussed the complexity and responsibility of wealth building and placemaking / keeping on Native lands with Darek DeLille (Bad River Ojibwe) and John Williams (Cheyenne River Lakota) from Native American Community Development Institute (NACDI) and Tatewin Means (Sisseton Wahpeton Dakota/Oglala Lakota) from Thunder Valley Community Development Corporation.

Download the recap | Watch the recording

Equitable Development Symposium 2022

How can development repair past harms and contribute to stronger, more inclusive and thriving communities?

On December 13, 2022, the Alliance and Metropolitan Council co-hosted a daylong online symposium featuring speakers across sectors and interactive discussions exploring tools for equity and accountability, unpacking common challenges and sharing strategies to ensure that we are building with community, not for community. A power-sharing space for community and government leaders, we worked together to co-create a shared understanding of intersectional and reparative community development — and how to get to that just future.





West Side Community Organization in St. Paul

In a new case study, we take a deep dive into how West Side Community Organization worked with community members, city leaders and other stakeholders over the course of several years to adapt the Equitable Development Principles & Scorecard and co-create a powerful, proactive tool for West Siders to take back agency over who benefits from development and investment in their communities.

“The Scorecard will be a positive mark for at least a generation of development on the West Side,” said West Side resident Kareem Smith. “The community and residents of the West Side have historically been treated as less-than, and that stops now.”

Download the case study here!

Watch a video that highlights how the West Side Community Organization in St. Paul is leveraging the scorecard to envision and implement equitable development in their neighborhoods.


Cycles for Change and the Transportation Edition

In the Twin Cities, many community members who walk, bike, roll and/or use public transit are often left out of conversations about transportation changes in their neighborhoods. To create a tool for community organizing and engagement around transportation improvements, Cycles for Change led a collaborative process to create a supplement to the Equitable Development Principles and Scorecard. The Transportation Edition aims to give community members, planners and government officials a tool to ensure “streets and public spaces are safe and accessible for people who bike, walk, roll and use public transit.”

Download the case study or read it here!


Metro Blooms and the Business Evaluation Tool

Water resources have strategic importance in achieving economic growth, competitiveness, and high quality of life — and collaborative partnerships can improve community health and resiliency. But, as Kimberly Carpenter discovered in her role as Community Engagement Coordinator for Metro Blooms, those resources and partnerships rarely center equity. “Actualizing equity with diverse watershed stakeholders is really important because there’s significant money for stormwater management but I wasn’t seeing people of color and indigenous people in spaces where conversations about distributing those funds were happening,” she said.

Download the case study or read it here!

Trust for Public Land and the Community Capacity Building Toolkit

The Trust for Public Land (TPL) works to protect the natural places people care about and to create close-to-home parks —particularly in and near cities. From helping raise funds for conservation; to protecting and restoring natural spaces; to collaborating with communities to plan, design, and create parks, playgrounds, gardens, and trails; TPL works with communities to ensure that development happens for them, and not to them. In the Twin Cities, the Equitable Development Principles & Scorecard galvanized a process to create a tool specific to parks development that could build intention and aspiration around not only engaging neighbors about park design but actively cultivating new community leaders and building capacity.

Download the case study or read it here!