Urban planning community

+ Reply to thread
Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 31

Thread: A citizen planner's tool box

  1. #1
    Cyburbian Michele Zone's avatar
    Registered
    Jul 2003
    Location
    San Diego, CA
    Posts
    7,061

    A citizen planner's tool box

    I want this thread to be a gathering place for the kinds of free, cheap, and alternative resources that are most needed by citizen planners, who often have little or no budget, do their work in their “spare time” after their day-job is over, and generally lack resources of all types. I will start it with some of the lists of links I have put together at various times, so that new people can find them all in one place without searching all of Cyburbia. Naturally, contributions of your own favorite resources are welcome.

  2. #2

  3. #3

    Registered
    May 1997
    Location
    Williston, VT
    Posts
    1,371
    The Planning for Results Guidebook: Practical Advice for Building Successful Rural Communities is available from the National Association of Counties for a very reasonable price. This book was written for elected officials and citizens, and explains 11 "hallmarks" of a successful local planning process. An order form is available on the Sonoran Institute's web site <www.sonoran.org>.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian nuovorecord's avatar
    Registered
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
    Posts
    444
    Oregon's Department of Land Conservation and Development has a bunch of publications free for the downloading at http://www.lcd.state.or.us/publicat.html
    "There's nothing wrong with America that can't be fixed by what's right with America." - Bill Clinton.

  5. #5
    Must read, must have in your tool box.

    Everyone Wins! A Citizen's Guide to Development
    Richard D. Klein (APA 1990).

    Also:

    The Citizen's Guide to Planning
    Herbert H. Smith (APA, 5th 1995)

    Looking at Cities
    Allan B. Jacobs (Harvard, 1985)

    Neighborhood Planning: A Guide for Citizens and Planners
    Bernie Jones (APA, 1990)

    (Some of these are older and may be out-of-print or newer versions may have been published in the meantime. Any good local library --and certainly a university library--should have access to them.)
    Last edited by Gedunker; 26 Aug 2004 at 9:25 AM.
    On pitching to Stan Musial:
    "Once he timed your fastball, your infielders were in jeopardy."
    Warren Spahn

  6. #6
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Utah
    Posts
    137
    Michele, this is really great, thank you!

    Is it okay to post any old link here? This one, with articles and cases on land use law, has helped me a lot:

    http://law.wustl.edu/landuselaw/

    A particular case I just ran across on that site, BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF TETON COUNTY v. CROW, has a zoning-empowering opinion and great stuff in the appendix.


    Also, a book: I'm not positive about the title, but I think it is Balancing Nature and Commerce in Gateway Communities, or something very similar. Great examples.

    I won't take any credit since I probably found both references on this forum- thanks!

  7. #7
    Cyburbian Michele Zone's avatar
    Registered
    Jul 2003
    Location
    San Diego, CA
    Posts
    7,061
    Quote Originally posted by maximov
    Michele, this is really great, thank you!

    Is it okay to post any old link here? This one, with articles and cases on land use law, has helped me a lot:
    You are welcome.

    As per the precedent set in Building a Comprehensive Plan - THE CYBURBIA FAQ, I reserve the right to moderate and modify this thread more heavily than 'normal' to keep it from getting chatty and off-topic. Letting it stray too much would defeat the purpose of the thread, which is to have a convenient repository of solid resources. But "any old link" that people have found useful in this type of work is certainly welcome. I appreciate how quickly people are jumping in to contribute. I also welcome commentary and descriptors for the link(s) so that it is easier to determine what is most relevant to a new person looking for resources, presumably in crisis mode. I reserve the right to combine posts if someone adds good commentary about a previously posted resource, in order to make the thread more useful. (I promise to do my best to keep author attributions clear. )

  8. #8
    Cyburbian Michele Zone's avatar
    Registered
    Jul 2003
    Location
    San Diego, CA
    Posts
    7,061

    Watersheds and Hydrology Resources

    This is a repost of some of my comments in the thread This is taking nature conservancy a bit too far. (I am posting it here because one citizen planner e-mailed me to ask permission to forward it.)


    I have had a hydrology class and "environmental geology" and ... some other related stuff. It is a well established fact that additional impervious surfaces cause more water pollution -- both chemical and sediments -- from non-point sources (run off), more soil erosion, more frequent and more extremes floods, more mudslides, and so on.

    Here is a quote from an EPA site:
    8 tools of watershed protection in developing areas
    Tool #1: land use planning
    http://www.epa.gov/watertrain/protection/index2.html
    "Although presence of vegetated streamside buffer zones or wetlands can help counteract impervious cover impacts, a watershed exceeding 10% impervious cover will generally not be able to support a high quality stream system. In this particular classification system, subwatersheds with impervious cover of less than 10% are classified as sensitive. A subwatershed with 10 - 25% impervious cover is classified as a degraded or impacted system. Any stream's watershed having greater than 25% impervious is classified as a non-supporting stream with characteristics such as eroding banks, poor biological diversity, and high bacterial levels."

    I would like to note that the EPA site that I quoted...which used to be called "Watershed Academy 2000"... has a fair amount of free online training for any watershed questions. I have also bookmarked a number of things from some of the modules I have done from that site. It is a great place to go for ANYTHING having to do with watersheds/water quality/etc.
    ----
    Additional resources:


    FOREST COVER, IMPERVIOUS-SURFACE AREA, AND THE MITIGATION OF
    URBANIZATION IMPACTS IN KING COUNTY, WASHINGTON


    Stormwater Appendix -- King County, WA

    METHODOLOGY FOR DETERMINING EFFECTS OF EXTENT AND GEOMETRY OF IMPERVIOUS SURFACE ON HYDROLOGIC BALANCE
    (abstract of resource)


    The Cumulative Effects of Urbanization on Small Streams
    in the Puget Sound Lowland Ecoregion


    Arnold, C. and J. Gibbons. 1996. Impervious Surface Coverage: The Emergence of a Key Environmental Indicator. Journal of the American Planning Association 62(2):243-258.

    URBANIZING WATERSHEDS AND CHANGING RIVER FLOOD DYNAMICS:
    IMPLICATIONS FOR URBAN WETLAND RESTORATION

  9. #9
    Cyburbian tsc's avatar
    Registered
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Under the Table
    Posts
    1,900
    Blog entries
    6
    Hudson River Valley Greenway toolbox page

    http://www.hudsongreenway.state.ny.u...assist/toc.htm
    "Yeehaw!" is not a foreign policy

    Renovating the '62 Metzendorf
    http://metzendorf.blogspot.com/

  10. #10
    Cyburbian Michele Zone's avatar
    Registered
    Jul 2003
    Location
    San Diego, CA
    Posts
    7,061

    Internet Nonprofit Center

    For those of you doing this not-for-profit: The Internet Nonprofit Center
    I think this topic on the website might be of particular interest: How to Set Up a Web Home Page
    Last edited by Michele Zone; 11 Sep 2004 at 4:04 AM.

  11. #11
    Cyburbian Michele Zone's avatar
    Registered
    Jul 2003
    Location
    San Diego, CA
    Posts
    7,061

    The Foundation Center

    In addition to the paid service offered at The Foundation Center, they also host a free service where foundations post Requests for Proposals in The Philanthropy News Digest. For example, today I found "BP Conservation Program Offers Support for Biodiversity Projects" that gave a brief description of the RFP and a link to full announcement on the BP website.

  12. #12
    Cyburbian GeogPlanner's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Capital Region, NY
    Posts
    1,429
    Information necessitating a change of design will be conveyed to the designer after and only after the design is complete. (Often called the 'Now They Tell Us' Law) - Fyfe's First Law of Revision

    We don't believe in planners and deciders making the decisions on behalf of Americans. -- George W. Bush , Scranton, PA -- 09/06/2000

  13. #13
    Cyburbian Michele Zone's avatar
    Registered
    Jul 2003
    Location
    San Diego, CA
    Posts
    7,061

    Homelessness and Public Policy -- free class

    I paid the money and took this class for credit but if you don't need the academic credit and you just want edification for free, the entire class (except where you log in to post assignments if you are taking it for credit) is available for free, online:

    Homelessness and Public Policy

  14. #14
         
    Registered
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
    Posts
    1
    Check out resources on the National Charrette Institute's website (charretteinstitute.org) for download information and links. Have used Charrettes for about 100 projects.


    Quote Originally posted by Michele Zone
    I want this thread to be a gathering place for the kinds of free, cheap, and alternative resources that are most needed by citizen planners, who often have little or no budget, do their work in their “spare time” after their day-job is over, and generally lack resources of all types. I will start it with some of the lists of links I have put together at various times, so that new people can find them all in one place without searching all of Cyburbia. Naturally, contributions of your own favorite resources are welcome.

  15. #15
    Cyburbian Michele Zone's avatar
    Registered
    Jul 2003
    Location
    San Diego, CA
    Posts
    7,061

    I just tripped across this...

    New Village
    Welcome to New Village, the journal of enlightened leadership in community planning, development, and revitalization.

    New Village is published by the national organization Architects/ Designers/ Planners for Social Responsibility (ADPSR) and is written for practitioners and citizen activists, alike.

  16. #16
    Cyburbian Michele Zone's avatar
    Registered
    Jul 2003
    Location
    San Diego, CA
    Posts
    7,061

    Winning Political and Community Support for Your Project

    When I attended the 2005 APA Conference in San Francisco last weekend, the first session I attended was 3 hours long and was called “Winning Political and Community Support for Your Project”. The Presenter, Debra Stein, talked about some things I have talked about elsewhere on Cyburbia, such as learning styles, personality type, etc. Yes, the website is mostly to promote her/their business. But there is a page with links to articles they have written: List of Articles. (books are listed at the topic -- scroll down a little to the articles)

    The articles are free and seem to be a good source of useful information for Citizen Planners.

  17. #17
          jhboyle's avatar
    Registered
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Irwin, Pa
    Posts
    168
    As far as Free GIS software goes, try QGIS , I have been using this for a while, the pan feature works better that ARCGIS, and touting it to several smaller municipalities that i serve that are curious about the aspects of GIS

  18. #18
    Cyburbian Michele Zone's avatar
    Registered
    Jul 2003
    Location
    San Diego, CA
    Posts
    7,061

    Planning Commissioner's Journal

    I did a search and didn't find this posted on Cyburbia (crossing my fingers that it's not a repeat):

    Planners Web

  19. #19
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Tullinge Sweden
    Posts
    190

    A very rich source

    Try

    http://www.communityplanning.net/index.htm

    This has a wide variety of tools, case studies, contacts, web sites. There are approaches and tools gathered from around the world. some of them may not seem appropriate in a modern US city, but they may give inspiration for adaptations that would work well.

    In today's increasingly hazardous world, planners need to think about vulnerability - something that gets too little attention even among planners pushing sustainability. For this there is a good site at:

    http://www.csc.noaa.gov/products/nchaz/startup.htm

    Don't be put off by it the "coastal" emphasis. The tools can be applied in many contexts.

    Search the web for Asset Based Community Development, Appreciative Inquiry, and follow links from some of the interesting hits. There is a lot under these headings that is very useful in bringing new and exciting life to community participation in planning and development.

    Monamogolo

  20. #20
    Member
    Registered
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Tacoma, Washington
    Posts
    22
    For skatepark planning, try Skaters for Public Skateparks. They are a 501(c)3, non-profit organization and 100% volunteer owned and operated. They provide, gratis, great information about skatepark vision, siting, design, and management. Most of the contributors are skateboarders themselves and are familiar with the particular constraints and challenges of skatepark development.

    www.skatersforpublicskateparks.org

    For direct feedback, visit their forums.

  21. #21
    Member
    Registered
    Jul 2007
    Location
    State of Confusion
    Posts
    4
    This one is Utah-specific but does have some good general information:

    A Utah Citizen's Guide to Land Use Regulation: How It Works and How to Work It

  22. #22

    Ideas for making "development presentation" meetings useful?

    I live in a hot neighborhood (Chicago's South Loop), where I'm the planning & development monitor for the neighborhood association. We know lots more new buildings are coming in the next 20 years, and want to be sure the neighborhood works well over the next half-century and ages gracefully.

    Our one and only tool is the "development presentation," where either our association or the alderman's office invites/forces the developer of a new project to "present" it to whoever shows up for an evening meeting in the local church basement. Pretty renderings of a completely designed building are shown, people ask questions, some more pointed than others, the developer and his hired hands (architects, lawyers) give some kind of noncommittal answer, and eventually it gets late and everyone drifts away. There's no resolution, the residents often have a wide variety of opinion on the various issues, and even if there's a group that feels strongly (next-door neighbors) they behave politely and are dismissed as having parochial concerns. By the time of the meeting, the developer has spent hundreds of thousands on architectural and legal fees, so desperately wants to avoid any changes. Downtown zoning in Chicago is incredibly generous. The mayor (and therefore the planning director) always wants as much development as possible as fast as possible. A four-year-old neighborhood plan is never mentioned, even by city planning staff.

    But we have a new alderman, with whom I'm meeting next week to discuss process issues. So I'm looking for ideas on how to make these presentation meetings more meaningful and more useful. An intensive process with buy-in from both residents and developers (like a multiday charrette) is just not in the cards: both groups of players change too much every year. But there must be some techniques to make these kinds of "public hearings" on fully designed projects more useful as an actual citizen participation tool.

  23. #23
    Member
    Registered
    Mar 2008
    Location
    St. Paul, MN
    Posts
    3

    A citizen planner's tool box

    www.newrules.org

    Great resource for actual code to emulate in a variety of policies

    www.bigboxtoolkit.com

    excellent resource for combatting sprawl and large scale retail development
    Last edited by Gedunker; 26 Mar 2008 at 3:22 PM.

  24. #24
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Mar 2008
    Location
    SF Bay Area, CA
    Posts
    39
    Cyburbians-

    I just got appointed to my city's historical and landmarks commission. I was hoping there might be some pointers to historical preservation resources in this thread--but no joy. Can any of you point me to some good stuff?

    --don

  25. #25
    A few more resources that might be helpful:

    -Big Box Evaluator (www.bigboxevaluator.org) - free web program to show and communicate the impacts of big box development

    -Cause Communications toolkit - free PDF or hard copy of a great communications toolkit for non-profits. Info about everything from writing press releases to building websites and tracking communications success.

    -Community Almanac (www.communityalmanac.org) - free web-based platform for sharing stories, videos, photos, and comments. Communities can set up and moderate their own pages.

    -Grassroots.org - free tech services and info for nonprofits. Tons of free resources and services from web hosting and website development to phone services, etc.

    -Wikiplanning.org - "the virtual charrette". New, interactive site to help communities host discussions and interactive planning processes.

+ Reply to thread
Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

More at Cyburbia

  1. The right tool for the job
    Friday Afternoon Club
    Replies: 0
    Last post: 22 Jul 2012, 1:24 PM
  2. Replies: 3
    Last post: 07 Jan 2005, 8:25 AM
  3. Planners tool kit
    Friday Afternoon Club
    Replies: 18
    Last post: 30 Jun 2003, 10:06 PM