Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Assignment for 9/11

Note: Assignments will now have place in the upper right part of blog. I heard people's request for earlier assignment postings, and, now that the project work is beginning to settle in, will be able to get ahead on the assignmnts.

Next Tuesday's Focus: Inclusion, Participation, and Justice Issues as a Foundation for Sustainable Cities

for next Sunday eve:
Read at least one substantial chapter in "Sustainable Communities and the Challenge of Environmental Justice" by Agyeman to familarize yourself with the growing convergence of the environmntal justice and the community sustainability movements , a crucial edge of hope for building sustainable cities and societies. (The few acronyms he uses are important, so please refer back to find out what they mean) Some chapters are more theoretical some applied, both are valuable, and we will come back to this book at other times in the course. (Chapters 3&4 were my original choices). Reading this book carefully can change how you see yourself and the sustainability and green city movement.

Part B of the reading, below, which is required, is an outline on Participatory Neighborhood Planning that will link directly to the piece Ken Reardon will be doing with you next Tuesday, and to the justice issues in the book. I will find out how to more elegantly post documents like this before next posting.

*****So, in your blog reflection, use the summary format only for for the chapter you choose and work creatively with both the chapter and the outline below, on the other 2 parts (synthesis/application and critique/inquiry)


Community Development Handbook Chapter Outline
Prepared for Rhonda Philips
Kenneth M. Reardon

Dramatic increase in the number of residents, professional planners, and local officials interested in various forms of participatory neighborhood planning

-Ongoing pattern of uneven development continues to undermine the health of many of
our nation’s older residential communities
-The failure of Urban Renewal and other centrally conceived urban revitalization
initiatives has prompted many local residents to demand a greater voice in the planning
and design decisions affecting their lives and communities
-Declining confidence in local government’s ability to provide solid leadership for local
problem-solving and planning
-Continuing devolution has shifted decision-making and implementation regarding urban
issues to local communities which, in turn, has shifted responsibility to non-profits and
-Growing influence of total quality management within public administration which
emphasizes continuing efforts to improve performance so as to better satisfy the needs,
desires, and wants of individual citizens and groups of citizens
-A deepening awareness of the importance of cultural identity and the need to produce
plans, strategy, and designs that respond to the unique demands of specific communities
-Increasing importance of public-private partnerships which often require citizen
participation as a requirement for investment ???
-Growing realization, among planners and elected officials, of the importance of broad-
based political support when undertaking significant revitalization efforts
-Increasing expectations among public and private funders of meaningful citizen
participation as a pre-condition for investment

Evidence of the increasing importance of this area of specialization

-Explosion in the number of community-based development organizations involved in
resident-led planning, design, and development efforts (CDCs)
-Increasing number of municipal planning offices which have established ongoing
neighborhood planning initiatives
-Two national symposia designed, in part, to establish principles of good practice for
collaborative/participatory planning co-sponsored by the Annie E. Casey Foundation and
the American Planning Association
-Growth in the number of community design centers involved in participatory approaches
to community planning and design
-Increase in the number of university-based centers providing research, training, technical
assistance, and program evaluation services for local institutions involved in
participatory approaches to community problem-solving and planning
-Publication of new textbooks for lay and professional planners engaged in ongoing
participatory neighborhood planning efforts
-The number of important regional and national foundations that have established
ongoing funding programs to support these efforts.
-Growing graduate student interest in this specialization

Emerging principles of good practice for participatory planning

-Place-based approach to improving the quality of life of poor and working class
individuals and families
-Resident-led process in which local citizens, institutional leaders, business owners and
elected officials rather than professional planners and/or outside funders determine the
work to be done
-A comprehensive approach to community-building that goes beyond brick
and mortar projects to systematically address such issues as: quality public education,
access to health care, provision of basic services, and democratic governance
-Democratic undertaking which seeks to actively involve all those who might be
affected by a specific planning intervention at each and every step in the process
-Seeks to overcome the cynicism many residents feel towards government’s capacity to
promote positive change by emphasizing effective action for community
-Committed to enhancing the capacity of local institutions to solve critical problems
through leadership training and technical assistance
-Focused to the identification and development of new local leaders who can
successfully initiate and manage complex, challenging, and often contentious community
change efforts
-Intentional and strategic in its efforts to connect and, in some cases, reconnect
powerful public and private institutions to innovative community-based planning
and development efforts
-Committed to ongoing program evaluation effort to be able to share, with confidence,
important social inventions that emerge from local practice
-Engagement in municipal, regional, state, and national government legislative affairs to
encourage policies designed to promote more equitable forms of regional
development characterized by less dramatic gaps in income, wealth, and power
-Developmental approach in which neighborhood planners seek to use success of
smaller scale projects to build a political base to undertake larger, more challenging
economic and community development projects
-Asset-based approach
-Iterative process to accommodate reflective practice-

History of Neighborhood Planning

-Patrick Geddes commitment to local community renewal – constructive surgery
-Settlement House Leaders, involvement in local health surveys, action projects,
legislative (regulatory) reform, and civic education
-Charles Mulford Robinson, work with local women’s clubs on district improvement
projects related to improving the health, functioning, and aesthetics of the urban
-Charles Perry, Planned Unit Development, which sought to center urban social life
around mixed-use communities of 5,000 to 15,000 which emphasized walkability,
importance of school as community gather center, local retail services, and a high level
of design
-Clarence Stein, New Town Planning, establishment of Garden Cities in the US which
gave special attention to the contribution well designed neighborhoods could make to
health, wellness, and sense of community
-Walter Thabit, Oppositional Planning, supported residents threatened by displacement
caused by Robert Moses’ proposed Cross Manhattan Expressway, worked with residents
to createresident-inspired plans focused on stabilization and revitalization without
displacement and gentrification
-Gino Baroni, Citizen Action, work with neighborhood groups to create a national
network to promote national policies that are more neighborhood-friendly
-Emergence of national networks of grassroots activists, community development
professionbbals, municipal officials, intermediaries, and state and national polict-makers
committed to resident-led planning and development, including CDS, NCCED, NCUED,
-Development of Comprehensive Community Revitalization Initiatives funded by
of national foundations and intermediaries

Types of Neighborhood Planning

-Grassroots- Community-based and controlled efforts (East St. Louis Action Research Project). Occurs when government either ignores or fails to address the collapse
of private market activities in urban and rural communities which, in turn, lead
to severe environmental, economic, and social deterioration
-Cooperative- Jointly-initiated, managed, and controlled effort, (East Greenville
Neighborhood Planning Initiative) Jointly undertaken effort in a target
area where community-based organizations and municipal agencies jointly
undertake a community planning and development effort for joint benefit
-Municipal- City initiates and staffs an effort to improve the quality of life in an
economically distressed area involving residents and local institutions in the
process (Neighbors Building Neighborhoods, Rochester, NY)

Steps in the process

1.) Project organization

A. One on one meetings to identify stakeholder groups, preliminary issues,
and recruit members for a representative steering committee
B. Conduct basic training for local leaders on the theory, methods, practice and issues related to participatory neighborhood planning
C. Design and implementation of a community media campaign structured to maximize interest and participation in the planning process
D. Work with the steering committee to finalize the basic research design
E. Organize neighborhood outreach effort to maximize participation in the process
F. Pursue specially designed mobilization efforts to elicit the involvement in often-ignored groups, such as elderly, youth, immigrants, workers, and tenants

2.) Data collection and analysis

A. Development of a social history of the community’s past cooperative problem-solving, planning and development efforts
B. Collection of existing data regarding local physical and environmental resources, management practices, and challenge
C. Presentation of population, housing, economic, and social trends using data from the US Census
D. Review of existing data describing the current state of major infrastructure systems, public facilities, building stock and land use
E. Examination of existing land use control system
F. Summary of recent reports, studies, and plans completed for the area
G. Systematic review of existing physical conditions
H. Interviews with local residents, business owners, and civic leaders regarding their perceptions of existing conditions, future trends, desired development directions, and specific improvement projects
I. Comprehensive analysis of abovementioned data using HBS’s SWOT analysis format and Jones’ PARK framework

3.) Visioning and Goal-Setting

A. Engage residents, institutional leaders, elected officials and funding partners in future visioning activity to establish an overall development goal(s) for the community
B. Determine specific development objectives designed to facilitate the community’s achievement of its overall development goal(s)

4.) Formulation of Detailed Action Plan

A. Determine the core substantive elements of the plan (housing, economic development, transportation, education, health case, etc.)
B. Involve stakeholder groups in an “open-ended and unbounded” discussion of possible strategic initiatives
C. Identify specific strategies and policies that will constitute the fundamental action agenda in each of the substantive areas of the plan
D. Design specific strategies to elicit broad citizen input regarding specific community development proposals
E. Undertake research regarding model programs successfully undertaken by similar communities
F. Organize participants into action teams responsible for developing each element of the plan adapting model programs and generating self-generated proposals
G. Distribute preliminary draft of the action plans for community review, comment, and revision

5.) Plan Review and Adoption

A. Organize a full presentation of the preliminary plan by a broad cross-section of residents, business owners, institutional leaders, and elected officials
B. Upon their review and vote of support, prepare a resolution for the local governing body requesting integration of the neighborhood plan into the city’s existing master plan.
C. Prepare needed environmental impact and historic impact statements as appendices to the neighborhood plan so the document can be considered by the City Planning Commission, City Council, County/Regional Planning Body, and the Secretary of State’s Office*
D. Organize editorial board briefings, church/school presentations, and non-profit board presentations to educate community residents and leaders on the content of the plan
E. Present the draft of the plan to the City Planning Commission to elicit their support
F. Present the draft plan to the City Council
G. Present the draft plan to the county/regional planning body
H. File the “approved plan” with the appropriate state office
I. Distribute the plan as broadly as possible
J. Formulate consumer and developers’ guides to the plan
K. Place all of the relevant planning documents on the world-wide web

6.) Plan Implementation

A. Prepare funding proposals
B. Hire needed staff
C. Initiate specific action projects

7.) Monitoring, Evaluating, and Modifying Neighborhood Plans

A. Quarterly monitoring of project implementation and impact
B. Annual evaluation of program effectiveness; alteration of projects as necessary

Types of Plans

A. Master planed community- Design for a new community
B. Post-disaster plan- Comprehensive recovery strategy following natural and/or man-made disaster

C. Growth management plan- Changes needed to accommodate rapid
intensification of local land and facilities uses as a result of in-migration, often by individuals from another income group
D. Preservation plan- Overall strategy to protect important historical, cultural, and architectural resources of value to the neighborhood and community
E. Revitalization plan- Address physical, economic and social problems for a community experiencing growing instability due to disinvestment and out-migration
F. Stabilization plan- Effort to stem outflow of investment, business, and residents for a community experiencing severe economic distress

Citizen Participation

A. Ladder of participation/empowerment
B. Challenge given declining confidence in public agencies
C. Available techniques as highlighted by a recent process CRP undertook in
A nearby community in the Catskills

1. One on one interviews with leaders of key local stakeholder groups
2. Formation of a representative board prepared to participate in outreach
3. Comprehensive media campaign to reinforce ongoing outreach efforts
4. Door to door outreach by community/student teams
5. House/block meetings to encourage neighborhood to neighbor interaction, develop initial social history, identify preliminary issues and planning goals, and introduce/seek comments on, and revise preliminary work plan
6. Community mapping exercise (Boundaries, sub-areas, resources, and challenges)
7. Camera exercise (27 shoots)
8. Spike Lee Youth Project (Good, Bad, Its Gotta Go)
9. Local resident and movers and shakers interviews
10. Preliminary SWOT Analysis
11. Community Visioning Weekend

a. Community museum (Interactive installations)
b. Presentation and review of SWOT
c. Consideration of alternative future scenarios (Young Frankenstein)
d. Guided visualization
e. Idea bubbles
f. Preliminary presentations
g. Community voting
h. Organization of action teams

12. Website bulletin board for presentation of preliminary ideas and
eliciting of community feedback
12. Action Teams
13. Neighborhood Summit

a. Presentation of proposals
b. Community comments
c. Community voting

A Movement from the Ready, Aim, Fire to Ready, Fire Aim Approach

A. Issue of cynicism, especially among poor and minority communities
B. May require a signal that this is more than performance art
C. Herbert Mintzberg’s approach to building momentum for change by undertaking, simultaneous with the planning process, initially small but increasingly ambitious improvement projects to liberate other supporters
D. This has been advocated as a useful approach to community planning and
Development by the Rensellaerville Institute which has done ground- breaking work with rural development projects

A Few Compelling Cases

A. Resident-initiated (9th Ward Recovery Plan)
B. Cooperatively-developed (East Greenville Neighborhood Plan)
C. City-initiated (Collingswood District Plan)

Some of the Challenges

A. Overcoming residents cynicism and time constraints to foster truly democratic process
B. Addressing the concerns of elected officials and non-profit executives who may attempt to act as gate-keepings
C. Creating a safe “steepled place” where various cultural identity and stakeholder groups feel safe and valued in the process
D. Securing the significant human resources needed to undertake the effort (Significant data collection, analysis, facilitation, and communication skills)
E. Finding an appropriate way to involve funders and intermediaries in the planning, design, and development process
F. Resisting the temptation to treat the neighborhood as a bounded system ignoring city, regional, state, and national policy, program, and financial policies that can support needed neighborhood action
G. Maintaining community interest and momentum beyond the planning process in order to achieve significant program implementation
H. Resist pressures to ignore citizen participation during the implementation phase of the economic and community development process
I. Shortage of experienced neighborhood planners

Urban Environment / Green Urbanism

Both readings discussed the importance of both the government (especially local) and the general public in creating more sustainable cities. The readings stress the importance of citizens taking responsibility and finding new methods different from the status quo. Both readings also discuss the importance of different groups and systems working together (not just local).

Much of the reading and examples reminded me of work (and frustration) being done in New Orleans. The art egg works to create more green friendly buildings and city environments. They utilize permaculture as well as recycled materials. The organization however is mostly unconnected with the local government. While the organization found a use for many different materials post Katrina the organizations ideas did not spread past the one building. For this organization work with the local government would have caused them directly after Katrina to have more force, and become more recognized as a form of building for the city in the future.

Green urbanism presents many possible ideas for greening the city, many of them either require (or in theory require) very little upkeep. Beatley emphasizes the aesthetic value of this new green land. The question is how to keep these areas as pleasant areas away from trash and crime? Also how to (or should they be at all) regulate these areas? How much of these areas become open to the public and how much remains private? Are they equal spaces, and who are they available to?