Institute for Livable & Equitable Communities


The Institute for Livable & Equitable Communities at the Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission (MVRPC) places an intentional focus on livability and equity, launching programs and transforming systems that create a community where all people can thrive.


The Institute convenes critical partners 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.

Common elements of all Institute work include:

  • Focus on Livability & Equity
  • Outreach, Convening & Coordination
  • Education
  • Research
  • Resources, Best Practices and Tools
  • Policy Analysis / Policy Change
  • Technical Assistance
  • Regional Focus on the Miami Valley
  • Secure Sustainable Funding

Through a partnership with The Dayton Foundation, it is possible to support the work of the Institute for Livable & Equitable Communities through contributions to an established charitable fund. There are numerous ways you can make a gift to the Institute fund at The Dayton Foundation. Your contribution is fully tax deductible and will be acknowledged with a letter from the Foundation for tax purposes.

The lenses of livability and equity will be used to shape the work of the Institute in all of the domains critical to thriving communities.  They will not be domains operating in isolation, rather they will permeate all work of the Institute. All work of the Institute will aim to improve livability and equity in the Miami Valley.

The domains are areas of focus derived from the Livable Communities framework outlined by the World Health Organization/AARP.


A commitment to learning, beginning at an early age and continuing through all stages, is essential to developing a strong workforce and ensuring long-term economic viability.
Entrepreneurship, Employment & Volunteering:
All individuals should have the opportunity to work for themselves, for others, or to volunteer their expertise, and contribute productively in a way that is meaningful and a benefit to our community.
Authentic engagement of all individuals to shape the future of their community and a culture which embraces interactions among diverse groups, learning, mutual respect and value of the contributions of all.  
Health & Environment
Access to quality, affordable health services, mental health resources and wrap-around community support systems are vital. Clean air and Clean water have a direct connection to health and quality of life
Communities need to include affordable and desirable housing options for varying life stages, varying abilities, and varying bank accounts.
Vibrant neighborhoods include residential, retail and open spaces that are well connected and meet the needs of all in the surrounding community.
Safety & Justice
Public health, safety, general welfare, and justice are fundamental needs.  They are not luxuries afforded to a few.  They must be protected and upheld for all individuals. .
Technology & Connectivity
Expansion of access to technology, connectivity and the intentional dissemination of information through a wide variety of traditional and digital means to ensure all members of the community are informed of matters that impact them.
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.

History & Leadership

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.
MVRPC hired the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity at the Ohio State University to examine the historical context and tell the story of equity and inequity in the Miami Valley through data, maps, and other infographics. The work focused on access to opportunity as measured through five areas that make a place high in opportunity: effective transportation, living wage jobs, strong educational pathways, stable housing, and healthcare.
MVRPC created the Miami Valley Equity Initiative to promote and receive feedback on the Miami Valley Equity Regional Profile. MVRPC led discussions among many groups including: planners at the Miami Valley APA Workshop, NAACP Economic Development Committee, Ombudsman Interview on DATV, and a listening session with numerous community organizations.
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. 
MVRPC launched the Regional Equity Initiative under the newly formed Institute for Livable and Equitable Communities.
MVRPC was awarded the Ohio Transportation Excellence in Diversity and Inclusion – Local Public Agency of the Year Award
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.
The Dayton Business journal recognized MVRPC as the Outstanding Diversity Champion Organization (1-99 Employees) and Executive Director, Brian O. Martin, AICP was recognized as an Individual Outstanding Diversity Champion.
The MVRPC Executive Committee and Board of Directors modified its Bylaws and Constitution to create the Institute for Livable and Equitable Communities Steering Committee (ISC).


To learn more about the Institute for Livable & Equitable Communities, please contact Executive Director, Brian Martin