It’s no secret that the building boom is alive and well, even if it has slowed slightly in the last few months. What’s coming to light amidst all the bustle is how money is being invested in construction. Is it being shared equitably, reaching lower income areas that need revitalization? Is diversity and inclusion being consciously considered by the developers? Are the builders and developers reaching out to neighborhood groups, academics, contractors and others, figuring out how to best move forward?
Diversity and inclusion plans can be easily rolled into existing or upgraded urban renewal plans. Cities like Boston are doing just that. Setting developmental goals to meet the demands of diversity and inclusion are an aggressive part of the city’s efforts.
Bringing in minority-owned businesses and local contractors to work on developments within a locale, and utilizing local banks and service providers gives a construction project a thumbs up toward inclusion and diversity.
Builders have a major role to play to achieve an accessible, diverse, and inclusive environment. Whether an engineer, architect, builder, or construction services entity, all have an obligation to maintain and share knowledge, skills and competencies in each area of expertise.
It’s only through collaboration that the construction industry, in all its forms, will be able to create buildings, places, and spaces that can be used easily, safely, and with dignity by everyone, regardless of age, disability or gender.
The kind of commitment needed going forward goes well beyond meeting minimum standards or legislative requirements. It recognizes that we all benefit from improved accessibility and function.
A truly inclusive environment accommodates the differences in how people use the built environment, allowing equal use by everyone. It welcomes diverse user needs, whether a child, an adult, or a physically challenged individual. An inclusive environment embraces every background, gender, ethnicity and culture. In rethinking how environments are constructed by including inclusive and diversity concepts, builders from every segment make our cities, workplaces, and neighborhoods better environments.