A picture of a group of diverse young people smiling at each other in front of a building.

Equity Kickstart Guide for Cities

Read it, use it, share it.

We encourage you to read the guide, as well as share it with your municipality’s mayor, council and leadership team to ensure equitable city building is a priority in your community.   


Download the guide

Equity in city planning is important because it ensures that everyone, regardless of their background or circumstances, has access to the resources and opportunities they need to thrive. This includes things like transportation, public spaces, housing, healthcare, education and employment.

Without equity, certain groups of people may be left behind or have a harder time accessing these resources and opportunities. For example, low-income neighborhoods may not have access to reliable public transportation, making it harder for residents to get to school or work. Similarly, a lack of affordable housing may force communities to become unhoused or live in overcrowded or unsafe conditions.

We’ve all seen the impacts of planning without diverse input. Whether it’s inaccessible public facilities, a lack of lighting on dark streets, or few spaces for cultural practices, our cities need to prioritize equity so they can serve everyone.

YWCA City Shift will support decision makers to challenge assumptions, ask questions from diverse perspectives, and support actions that serve the entire community. 

When we began the City Shift project, it became clear that resources on equitable city building were difficult to come by – so we set out to create a guide that highlights case studies and promising practices from other municipalities who are leading the way.  

We know that when cities embed equity in their decision-making they ask different questions, challenge assumptions and identify potential impacts, while considering the diversity of their communities. This leads to better decision-making and stronger communities.   

Our next steps include attending Council meetings across Metro Vancouver to share our guide and message. We’d love to have you join us – reach out to the City Shift team to find out when our Council meetings are scheduled.    

Show your support

Come out to support City Shift during our council meetings. 

Reach out to the City Shift team at cityshift@ywcavan.org to find out when these are scheduled. We’d love to have you join us!


Contact us

What else can I do to help?
  • Tell your local city councillors about YWCA City Shift (cityshift.ca)
  • Ask your local city councillors if they will commit to working with the YWCA City Shift team to support equity in decision making.
  • We’ve created some template messages for you to reach out to your local city councillors supporting City Shift. 
  • Learn more. Watch the recordings from our Reimagining our Cities series of events

Not everyone has had an equal voice in how we build and grow our cities.  

YWCA City Shift aims to make our region more equitable, prosperous and just by supporting Metro Vancouver cities to challenge assumptions, incorporate diverse perspectives and support actions that serve the entire community.


Learn more about City Shift 

City Shift is funded by Women and Gender Equality Canada

City Shift is funded by Women and Gender Equality Canada