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Thread: Small town planning

  1. #1

    Small town planning

    I am interested in the assessment of small towns and villages. These places exhibit a better sense of community and livability. Urban models do not tend to work well upon their smaller counterparts. It is important to understand and assess smaller places so that we can better preserve, protect, and perhaps replicate them. I need bibliographies, resources, and advice. Please respond.

    david tuley
    (email address deleted)

  2. #2

    May 1997
    Williston, VT

    small town planning

    David: A student at Utah State University by the name of Jackie Hoffer is competing a thesis on methods of assessing sense of place that would be relevant to your question. It will probably be Fall before it is done, however. There is a reasonable amount of literature on "needs assessment" in small communities, which may be of some limited relevance. Most of it deals with infrastructure needs, which are very important, but relatively easy to get a handle on. The best representative of this part of the literature is probaby a set of handbooks for growing communities prepared for the EPA by Briscoe, Murray, Lamont, and Maphis during the energy boom days. I can't recall the exact title, but you should be able to find it by rooting around in the government documents section. For a broader sort of assessment, you will need to become familiar with the works of Harry Launce Garnham (has a book out which should be in KSU library or available via ILL), Randolph Hester (check back issues of Small Town), and F.O. Sargent (has a book out) among others. Otherwise, the literature on sense of place does not spend much time on methodology. Some environmentally-oriented work may be useful. Review F. Steiner's description of the Teller County, CO case study in The Living Landscape and take a look a Michael Hough's Out of Place. You may also want to look at the sustainable communities checklist developed by the Northwest Policy Center at the U of Washington. It helps hit at the social dimensions. Also, an old classic that no one makes planning students read is Robert Redfield's The Small Community, which is an anthropological work that also reflects the influence of the "human ecologists" of the Chicago School. That should get you started. Good luck. Say hi to John Keller for me if you see him.

  3. #3

    small town planning

    I live in a town that is planning a Town Center in a suburban St. Louis. Wildwood, MO is a newly incorporated city in St. Louis, County Missouri -- we're a community of 24,000 in a 67 sq. mile area about twenty miles south and west of St. Louis. After employing Jonathan Barnett and Duany Plater Zyberg (DPZ) we formulated a Master Land Use Plan. After a holding a charette and numerous public hearings and subcommittees we're in the process of finalizing our Town Center street grid, infrastructure improvement plans, parks, and pre-appproved zoning classifications. It's been quite a process and not without significant controversy in the community. Anyhow, I've found two books very helpful in getting up to speed on cities that I think you might find interesting - Home from Nowhere by James Howard Kunstler published by Simon & Schuster in 1996 and the American City by Alexander Garvin published McGraw-Hill 1996. Good luck with your research.

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