By Oscar Perry Abello.

Someone recently asked me — given the current state of this country, its rampant income inequality, sprawling and segregated metropolitan regions, structural issues at the root of so many other problems like violence and health crises that get more headlines — how did I feel about the fact that it was largely designed, that it was no accident who benefited and who got left behind.

I said I felt optimistic, because if that was all designed, we can design the opposite too.

Elected officials, who are central to the challenge of designing a more equitable, more urban world, are the target audience of “ReBuilding Downtown: A Guidebook for Revitalization,” released today by Smart Growth America. Equity comes up throughout the guidebook, and it’s also given an explicit section.

“Sprawl was inherently not concerned about equity. In many ways sprawl was the opposite,” says Chris Zimmerman, vice president for economic development at Smart Growth America.

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Read the full story at Next City.