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Thread: Planning department cooperation

  1. #1
    Oct 2011
    Cincinnati, OH

    Planning department cooperation

    Hey all!

    I am trying to write a short 12 page paper on different types of cooperation a planning department partakes in. Either with other departments in the city, regional governments, or citizen groups.

    I have already done a 10 page paper on the government organization cooperation and focused on the cooperation between individual departments. For my next paper I have to pick 3 case studies and of anything that involves planning and cooperation and write about it. I prematurely chose cooperation within planning departments of cities until i research it a little more and see if there is viable information in order to get a 12 page paper out of it. I have done some small research so far on google scholar and my schools library and have yet to find anything.

    If there is anything anyone of you would like to share with me that would be awesome!!

    Thanks everyone!

  2. #2
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
    Mar 2004
    Where the weak are killed and eaten.
    Why not contact local planning departments in the Cincinatti area? We are not here to write your papers for you.

  3. #3
    Jul 2008
    Perhaps I'm being a bit cynical here but you'd probably be better off at looking at why planning department cooperation is lacking and what can be done to address it. Especially now, you're more likely to find information on why a government entity is dysfunctional rather than finding one that is working as intended.

    Where I work the planning department has been split into a few specialized departments that don't necessarily cooperate well together. Like it's hard when one department is tasked with spear heading the comp plan but the others won't help with the elements that they work with everyday. Then of course they're all competing for the same resources so they can have more money for employees and consultants. Then there's the issue of hiring freezes making it so you're stuck with staff that may not be appropriate for your department's needs. So now you have these planning departments operating at varying degrees of effectiveness due to things like that.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian wahday's avatar
    May 2005
    New Town
    Personally, I would choose cooperation between a planning department and the community through the drafting of local plans (we have several tiers of plans here - sector development plans, area plans, comprehensive plan, corridor plans, metropolitan redevelopment area plans). Pick three, download copies of the plans from your city's website and flip through them. Usually there is a section with some discussion of how the plan was assembled - who were the stakeholders invited? Where and when did the meetings take place? How many meetings occurred? Were there points/issues that were difficult to get consensus around?

    That should give you more than 12 pages to write about...
    The purpose of life is a life of purpose

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Otis's avatar
    Mar 2002
    Upper left edge
    Google "charrette."

  6. #6
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
    Aug 2001
    The Cheese State
    You should not find it at all difficult to locate examplesof regional planning where local communities collaborate with each other and regional authorities, public-private partnerships (often related to redevelopment), collaborations between cities and nonprofit entities (especially in revitalization or housing), and other examples.
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

  7. #7
    Cyburbian Tobinn's avatar
    Aug 2005
    Clearwater, FL

    Cooperation and Anti-cooperation

    All the previous posts here are spot on. To reiterate what's been said I think you need to start contacting your local and regional planning departments and keep your focus loose - you may find that it may be more revealing to write about lack of cooperation. Actually, you may even find that it may not be cooperation that is lacking but simply a lack of coordination.

    For example, in my fair City we have Planning and Economic Development - two separate departments. Much of what we each do has a quite a bit of overlap. ED is looking to entice businesses to the City and Planning tries to make sure that these businesses meet Code. Sometimes, ED forgets to check with Planning before making promises. Sometimes Planning can be difficult in that if the right question(s) isn't (aren't) asked we don't provide the information that is actually needed. In our case, I don't believe that any lack of coordination is purposeful but simply a matter of folks getting bogged down in the day to day items of business.

    I'd suggest face to face meetings, make sure you have specific written questions that flow from one to the other and try to keep you interviews short - 30 minutes or so. Unless your interviewee wants to spend extra time with you.

    In fact, I'd be interested in a paper written about the cooperation/coordination aspects between Planning and ED. In this economic climate it can almost be seen that ED is the pro-business side of government and Planning as the anti-business side. Naturally, this is not (or at least should not) be the case but we (Planners) are known for saying "No" quite a bit while ED has a more of a "Come on in, the water's fine." attitude.

    Of course, I'm responding under the impression that your intent is not to have the collective write your paper but, rather, you were simply looking for some brainstorming, topic suggestions and general guidance.

    Best of luck and keep us posted as to your progress.
    At times like this, you have to ask yourself, "WWJDD?"
    (What Would Jimmy Durante Do?)

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