Project Manager – Jeff Prudhomme
Why do we live where we live? What attracts us to certain towns or neighborhoods? Why are our communities designed the way they are? What might the future hold in store?
This discussion project explored the forces and decisions that shape our communities. It pondered whether these could be altered or re-directed. It explored different visions for the future of our communities. What’s your vision of a good community, a good place to call “home”? How might we focus our efforts at community design and development? Shaping Our Towns and Cities explored questions like these. The citizen participants developed seven different possible ways our society might respond to these various questions. You’ll find these possibilities in the discussion guide (readable online at the icon of the booklet to the right).
We often tend to think of the development of our communities, of our towns and cities, as something that just happens. It’s just the way things are. Or we think of these decisions about urban planning as decisions that are too complex for us as average citizens. Yet these decisions hit us where we live. They impact housing, transportation, and economic development. They affect what we think of as “home” and how we are able to live our lives. These are public policy choices that will impact our pocketbooks and our quality of life.
The citizens who developed this guide offer these ideas as a jumping-off point for similar exploratory discussions by other citizens. This discussion guide is their invitation to you, for you to engage in your own conversations and to develop your own thinking about the different ways we might shape our towns and cities.
The seven policy notions in this report include:
- Create Beautiful Towns and Cities: focus on beautiful design that is responsive to local conditions
- Come Together: focus community design on fostering social interaction
- Design Communities to Maximize Access: focus community design on enabling ready access to things people need in their daily lives
- Foster Sustainable Towns and Cities: focus community design on enhancing resiliency
- To Your Local Community Be True: focus community design on fostering distinctive local identities
- Protect Community Value in the Marketplace: focus on fortifying the social value of our communities
- Let the Private Sector Determine Community Design: focus on enabling the free market to shape our communities
This project’s discussion guide is complete. You can read it online by clicking on the thumbprint of the booklet above, or you can download a copy as a pdf (you can also use the labeled blue button in the right sidebar).