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Market-Based Solutions to Vital Economic Issues


Accelerating progress in social and environmental sustainability

Janna Townsend

Janna is a senior at UNC majoring in Global Studies with minors in Urban Planning and Sustainability Studies. She is currently enrolled in the 4+1 dual degree Master of City and Regional Planning (MCRP) program, on an accelerated track to graduate this December and begin her Master’s in the Spring semester. Specializing in Housing and Community Development, she explores the complexities of issues like gentrification and the affordable housing crisis. Janna’s interests include Inclusive and Affordable Housing, Community Health, Food Systems and Environmental Justice.

In her role as the Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging (DEIB) & Sustainability Intern for ACES, Janna passionately believes in the transformative power of DEIB initiatives. She advocates for the intertwining of DEIB principles with sustainability efforts and affordable housing solutions. Janna firmly believes that fostering diverse, equitable and inclusive environments is not only morally imperative but also essential for the sustainable development of communities. Moreover, she holds the conviction that affordable housing should be a fundamental human right, and through her work, she strives to bridge gaps, create opportunities and pave the way for a future where every individual has access to secure and affordable housing, irrespective of their background or economic status. Through her internship, Janna actively engages in the LIFT Challenge, focusing on the intersectionality between blended finance and affordable housing, demonstrating her dedication to creating a more inclusive and sustainable future for communities.