Community Heart & Soul: Field Guide

heart-and-soul-field-guide
This Field Guide distills twenty years of experience working with small cities and towns into a step-by-step process and a kit of resources to equip leaders, staff, and volunteers with everything they need to design and deliver the Heart & Soul method in their community. This Field Guide is an overview of the Orton Family Foundation’s four-phase method that breaks the process down into management steps and tasks to help you get the job done. It is a roadmap to... Read more

Developing and Advancing Effective Public Involvement and Environmental Justice Strategies for Rural and Small Communities

This sidewalk in Altamont, NY (pop. 1609) features a brick treatment, pedestrian scale lighting, street banners and colorful plantings. (Credit: Alta Planning + Design / CC-BY-SA)
This report from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) was developed to help transportation planners, practitioners, and other decision makers develop effective, locally-appropriate, and replicable strategies for public involvement in transportation planning and programming in small and rural communities. The report provides case studies and resource information to better engage environmental justice communities, as well as strategies that will mitigate or avoid prospective environmental justice issues. Read report... Read more

Let’s Talk About Community Heart & Soul

Source: the Orton Family Foundation
Via ICMA Blog What are the strengths of your community? What gives it distinctive character? What is the heart and soul? Having seen his town of Weston, Vermont, nearly torn apart over the approval and bust of a new amusement park, Lyman Orton of the Orton Family Foundation set out to find a better way to involve residents in community planning processes to help answer the questions above. His experience led him to develop Community Heart & Soul: Guided by What Matters... Read more

Revamped City Planning Aims at Neighborhood Revivals

Maurice Cox is the director of the City of Detroit Planning and Development Department (Eric Seals / Detroit Free Press)
Under Detroit’s new Director of Planning, Maurice Cox, the city’s planning efforts now focus not on the already revitalizing downtown but in places where city planners for decades have paid little if any attention — Detroit’s hard-hit neighborhoods. Read more... Read more

Climate Resilience Means Meaningfully Engaging Vulnerable Communities in Urban Planning Processes

Harlem is considered one of the ten most heat vulnerable neighborhoods in NYC (Urban Gazelle/ Flickr)
Impacts of extreme heat are uneven across geographies and communities. People who live in micro-urban heat islands and who lack the capacity to cope with extreme heat are disproportionately vulnerable to heat-related health risks. Collaborative climate action planning processes should directly engage vulnerable communities in identifying neighborhoods with concentrated and multiple risk factors, as well as in co-producing strategies for reducing vulnerability. Read more... Read more

Why Bother with Community Engagement?

In the end, all plans come to the city council for approval. (City of Aurora)
Community engagement is a required component of planning projects. Some planners take a “check the box” approach and others go out of their way to hear from the public. An informal survey at the American Planning Association National Conference asked what motivates planners to go the extra distance on outreach. The most common answer wassome version of, “It gave courage to our elected officials.” There’s a great deal of insight packed into this answer. Read more... Read more

The Pink Zone – Where Small is Possible

Old facades in Detroit, a city experimenting with Pink Zones. (Credit: Sandy Sorlien)
A Pink Zone — an area where the red tape is lightened — is the locus for implementation of Lean Urbanism strategies and improvements. The Pink Zone identifies a specific area where new protocols are pre-negotiated and experiments are conducted, all with the goal of removing impediments to economic development and community-building. The creation of Pink Zones is a way to formalize, encourage, and support this urban version of the American Dream. Read more... Read more

Revitalizing Neighborhoods and Engaging Youth

revitalizing-neighborhoods-engaging-youth
Faculty and staff from the University of Michigan Prevention Research Center and the Michigan Youth Violence Prevention Center have worked with partners in the Flint and Genesee County communities for over two decades. Over the past few years, Flint has been front and center in the news because of high rates of crime and violence, and more recently the water crisis. What we see in the news, however, doesn’t tell the story of the tremendous efforts and successes of community... Read more
« Older Entries