As many cities around the country adopt smart growth strategies for urban renewal, a new promise of efficient connectivity to many neighborhoods finally has the prospect of becoming reality. Although many of these improvements aim to connect lower income communities, many of the residents have yet to see the benefits of the development. Social equity planning is becoming increasingly important to ensure that those in low-income communities, who usually benefit from public transit the most, are adequately addressed in the transit planning process. This study will look at the importance of transportation planning on low-income residents and how improper planning can lead to increased poverty and increased inequality in many urban areas. This study will focus on the efforts underway in the San Diego region by examining specific examples of improper planning such as excessive trip duration times and inadequate access between low income communities and high employment zones. The hypothesis is that even though a city may incorporate social equity planning into its transportation strategy, implementation does not always follow in the final draft. A combination of empirical and ethnographic research will illustrate the specific issues facing many low-income residents throughout the San Diego region. This study seeks an understanding of the current hurdles involved in social equity planning and attempts to find recommendations to better overcome barriers to connectivity.

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