Institute for Livable & Equitable Communities

The Institute for Livable & Equitable Communities convenes critical partners from all private and public sectors and is the central point of coordination for a long-term, multi-faceted effort to address nine domains proven to enhance livability and equity in communities.  There will be an intentional focus on equity, launching programs and transforming systems that create a community where people of all ages, races, incomes and abilities can thrive.

The Institute will coordinate research and assemble data; lead a robust community engagement process to facilitate a high-level strategic plan which identifies needs, resources and potential actions for each domain; secure grants and alternative funding; leverage the region’s resources for collective impact; and create the opportunities for communities and organizations to implement an ever evolving portfolio of projects to advance livable & equitable communities throughout the region.

Within the portfolio of the Institute is the Regional Equity Initiative. The Miami Valley’s success and wealth are uneven.  Past policy decisions have improved quality of life for some while racial minorities have endured the disparate impact.  Inclusive action must be taken to dismantle systems and institutions that continue to perpetuate an uneven social, economic, and physical landscape in the Miami Valley. Through intentional inclusion of impacted communities and collaboration with organizations addressing equity issues, the Regional Equity Initiative develops and supports policy change and systemic transformation in order to eliminate causes and mitigate the effects of racism and other disparities which burden communities in the Miami Valley. 


The framework for the Institute for Livable and Equitable Communities is built around the eight domains for Livable Communities outlined by the World Health Organization/AARP adding a ninth domain critical to our Region, Education.

The Built Environment / Outdoor Spaces & Buildings: People need public places to
gather. Green spaces, safe streets, sidewalks, outdoor seating and accessible buildings can be used and enjoyed by people of all ages and abilities.

Transportation: Driving a car shouldn’t be the only way to get around. Public transit, coordinated mobility and human service transportation systems, integrated freight and logistics systems, walkability, and bike-friendliness contribute to livable, equitable and lively communities for all.

Housing: Communities need to include affordable and desirable housing options for varying life stages, varying abilities, and varying bank accounts.

Social Participation: Regardless of a person’s age or ability, loneliness is often as debilitating a health condition as having a chronic illness or disease. Sadness and isolation can be combatted by the availability of accessible, affordable and fun social activities.

Respect and Social Inclusion: Inclusive, accessible opportunities for active living are essential for all ages. Communities that embrace intergenerational interactions and learning foster cultures of mutual respect and value of contributions.

Civic Participation & Employment: All individuals should have the opportunity to work, volunteer their expertise, and engage in civic life in a way that is meaningful and a benefit to our community.

Communication: Expansion of access to technology and dissemination of information through a wide variety of traditional and digital means ensures that all members of the community are informed of matters that impact them.

Community Support and Health Services: Access to quality, affordable health services and wrap-around community support systems are vital to quality of life.

Education: A commitment to learning, beginning at an early age and continuing through all stages, is essential to developing a strong workforce and ensuring the long-term economic viability.


Portfolio of Institute Work



  • Mobility Programs for Non-Drivers
  • Safe Routes to School
  • Active Transportation Programs

Built Environment

  • Neighborhood Revitalization Stabilization
  • Complete Streets Policy
  • Regional Land Use Going Places Initiative


  • Disaster Recovery


  • Digital Divide


History & Leadership


2016  The Dayton Foundation, utilizing Del Mar funding, created the Del Mar Encore Fellows Initiative placing recently retired professionals in nonprofits which address key significant issues such as education, literacy, diversity and inclusion, etc.

2017  MVRPC in partnership with the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity at the Ohio State University, developed the Miami Valley Equity Regional Profile to examine historical context and tell the story on the issue of inequity through data, maps, and other infographics.

2018  The Dayton Foundation convened the Equity Design Team which worked over the course of 18 months to define critical next steps for the future of equity work in the Miami Valley. 

2019  MVRPC launched the Regional Equity Initiative under the newly formed Institute for Livable and Equitable Communities.

2020  A large advisory group comprised of leaders from the community and a wide range of agencies and organizations in the Region began to define the Mission, Vision and Core Strategies for the Regional Equity Initiative.


To learn more about the Institute for Livable &Equitable Communities, please contact Stacy Schweikhart, Director of Strategy & Engagement by email.