A Framework for Equity and Buildings with Kathryn Wright

As building professionals and policymakers, it is our responsibility to integrate equity into our work. But how do we ensure equity is being addressed in a comprehensive manner? Fortunately, the Urban Sustainability Directors Network (USDN) has developed a framework for local government decision makers to serve as a guide for ensuring equity in the built environment.

On this episode, we had the pleasure of speaking with USDN’s Program Director for Building Energy, Kathryn Wright. Kathryn summarizes some of the concepts and practices highlighted in the framework and explains how her personal experiences drove her to improve equity in buildings.

Episode Guests: Kathryn Wright

Kathryn Wright HeadshotKathryn Wright joined USDN in February 2020 as the Programs Director for Building Energy. In her role, Kathryn oversees the network’s strategic direction and innovation work in the built environment. Prior to USDN, Kathryn led Cadmus’ Sustainable Communities and Organizations practice. In this role, she focused on helping local and state governments plan and implement greenhouse gas reduction and resilience strategies. Illustrative work includes leading stakeholder engagement for the development and refinement of performance requirements for Boston’s disclosure ordinance, preparing research to support the City of Cambridge’s roadmap for resilient and equitable renewable thermal deployment across its community and serving as the Project Director for Massachusetts’ 2030 Climate Plan and 2050 Roadmap. Prior to Cadmus, Kathryn held a fellowship at the Center for Business and Environment at Yale and the Connecticut Green Bank focused on helping cities and towns increase distributed solar deployment. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for the New Buildings Institute. She holds Bachelors degrees from the University of Pittsburgh in Marketing and Environmental Science and a Masters from Yale in Environmental Management.

Episode Information & Resources


The Equity and Buildings Framework:

Zero Cities Project:

Equity Principles and Commitments:

High Impact Practices:

Other Organizations

Greenlink Analytics Equity Metrics Project:

Justice 40:

Cool new story map on redlining and environment from CalEPA:

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About Buildings and Beyond

Buildings and Beyond is a production of Steven Winter Associates. We provide energy, green building, and accessibility consulting services to improve the built environment. For more information, visit


Robb Aldrich | Kelly Westby

Production Team

Heather Breslin | Alex Mirabile | Dylan Martello


Transcript coming soon!