Principles of Fair Development


The purpose of development must be to improve the well-being of all city residents and communities and advance dignity and equity. Development must address all economic, social, cultural and environmental aspects of people’s lives in a coordinated way that increases communities’ ability to meet their fundamental needs.

In support thereof, Development shall be governed by the following principles:

               UNIVERSALITY – is the principle that human rights be afforded to everyone without exception.  Development shall increase all City residents’ ability to access the resources required to meet their fundamental needs of good jobs, education, health care, food, housing, and social security.  Development shall benefit all and displace none.  


               EQUITY—is the principle that public policies must enable equality of opportunity and outcome with regard to meeting human needs.  The benefits of Development should be shared with workers, who shall get priority to jobs that pay living wages, protect the right to organize, guarantee workplace protections and benefits, and with city communities most in need, which shall get priority to resources for transportation, fire services, recreation, information technology, housing, health, social services, workforce development, and education.


               PARTICIPATION—is the principle that government must engage people and support their participation in decisions about how their human rights are ensured.  Development decisions involving public subsidies and zoning changes for developers must involve meaningful input by residents, workers, and community stakeholders.


              TRANSPARENCY—is the principle that government must be open with regard to information and decision-making.  Development decisions such as public subsidies and zoning changes for developers must be discussed, decided, and monitored in an open, accessible manner.


               ACCOUNTABILITY—is the principle that mechanisms must exist to enable enforcement of human rights.  It is not enough to merely recognize rights; there must be a means for holding government and private actors accountable for failing to meet human rights standards.  Publicly subsidized developers must meet publicly set development targets on living wage jobs, health care, increased commerce, and public benefits.


In other words,

1.              Development should benefit all; displace none.

2.              Development’s benefits must be shared equitably and prioritize communities most in need.  

3.              Development decisions involving public subsidies require public participation.

4.              Development decisions must be open and transparent.  

5.              Publicly aided developers must meet human rights outcomes or be held accountable.

 Check out this Baltimore City Council Resolution introducing the Fair Development Principles as a framework for guiding publicly subsidized development. 


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