McElwain School, c. 1913
The Bridgewater Community Development Advisory Committee is seeking ideas about how to best reuse the old McElwain School.
More info including photos and the school’s history.
This winter and spring, I had the pleasure of working with the Eastham Community Preservation Committee to develop a 5-year Community Preservation Plan that establishes clear priorities among and within each CPA funding category, allocation targets beyond the minimum 10% requirements, and project possibilities. Eastham is a beautiful outer Cape community with stunning scenic views, significant coastal and natural resources, diverse historic resources, high interest in recreation, and an active local housing trust.
The Community Preservation Plan is highly customized to help guide the CPC’s deliberations and give clear guidance to potential applicants. In addition to establishing guiding principles, allocation targets, and category goals, the plan details the Town’s past CPA allocations, debt commitments, and revenue projections.
Utilizing the interactive “CPA Tetris” group discussion method, developed by JM Goldson, to help the public visualize Eastham’s projected 5-year CPA budget, workshop participants prioritized dozens of project ideas covering the four CPA funding categories. We also employed digital group polling to provide participants with an interactive education about Eastham’s CPA program and eligibility. Based on the priorities established through this process, we also revamped the CPC’s application materials to reflect funding priorities.
Does your community provide the living options that people want? Do your development regulations even allow the type of community that people (consumers) want? Will your community continue to be a desirable place to live as consumer preferences change? This article by Joseph Molinaro, AICP, on the PlannersWeb describes a recent National Realtor’s survey that indicates a very strong demand for homes in walkable neighborhoods. Check it out.National Realtors Survey Indicates Strong Interest in Walkable Mixed-Use Neighborhoods
A post by Bill Lennertz, executive director of the National Charrette Institute, “Children: Savvy Community Planners,” is one among many posts on the American Planning Association’s (APA) Kids Planning Toolbox. Lennertz emphasis the value that children can bring when included in charrettes with their knowledge of special neighborhood places and a different perspective than adults – often a more open-minded perspective. Lennertz advises that involving classes with the support of teachers can prove effective, especially at the middle school age. Lennertz writes about a charrette in Michigan where members of the team visited middle school classes to involve the children in mini-charrettes.
The blog includes many other ideas for involving children in planning activities and ways to bring community and schools together. Years ago I was involved in Citizen Schools as a volunteer teacher with a colleague. We taught a group of Boston Public School 4th graders about community planning, helping them see their community in a different way and helping us see our profession in a different way.