Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space

"A community’s physical form, rather than its land uses, is its most intrinsic and enduring characteristic." [Katz, EPA] This blog focuses on place and placemaking and all that makes it work--historic preservation, urban design, transportation, asset-based community development, arts & cultural development, commercial district revitalization, tourism & destination development, and quality of life advocacy--along with doses of civic engagement and good governance watchdogging.

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

The DC Office of Planning Wants to Hear Your Views on the District’s Present and Future

(I have some reservations about this initiative, which I'll write about later. Interesting that an initiative to improve urban planning involves the American Institute of Architects, but not the American Planning Association and the American Society of Landscape Architects.

More importantly, participation and engagement is a two-way street. The city generally doesn't have very open practices or a commitment to substance in civic engagement. A citizen planner initiative ought to provide significant insights that the city acts upon in order to improve the way it works and functions, along the lines I wrote about here, "All the talk of e-government, digital government, and open source government is really about employing the design method.")

From email:

Washington, D.C., has seen significant changes over the past ten years. After decades of population decline, the District has seen a solid decade of population growth, and that growth is continuing. New services such as the Circulator bus, bikesharing and carsharing make it easier for residents to get around the city. At the same time, the historic character of our city makes the District of Columbia a place of great attractions and destinations, unique and vibrant neighborhoods, and interesting streetscapes and public spaces. Because the greatest assets of our city are its residents and neighborhoods, the D.C. Office of Planning wants to hear from you—as the District moves into its future, what do residents across the city care about most? What are the best ways to engage you and other residents to discuss the impacts of future growth in the District, its preservation and stewardship, and prosperity for all residents?

In a partnership with The American Institute of Architects (AIA) DC Advocacy Committee, the D.C. Office of Planning is hosting a series of informal forums to explore these questions. These discussions will bring together groups of 12 to 15 residents to share their experiences and ideas. Thoughts shared in these discussions groups will help the Office of Planning improve how we reach out to residents during planning processes, give us a better idea of what issues to focus on, and inform how we develop our upcoming Citizen Planner initiative.

Please provide us with the following information and submit it to the Office of Planning no later than August 8, 2012 to be considered. If you are selected to participate in a focus group you will be contacted by August 13, 2012.

1. Name:
2. Contact Information: (phone number, or email address)
3. Ward where you live:
4. How long have you lived in the District of Columbia?
5. Have you ever attended a community meeting or participated in a community organization and/ or activity?

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