Citizen planners / planning boards A citizen planner's tool box

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#1
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. :)
 
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#3
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>.
 

Gedunker

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#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.)
 
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maximov

Cyburbian
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#6
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!
 
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#7
maximov said:
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. :) )
 
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#8
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
 
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#13
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
 

lcasteve

&#8193;&#8193;&#8193;&#8193;&#8193;
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#14
Check out resources on the National Charrette Institute's website (charretteinstitute.org) for download information and links. Have used Charrettes for about 100 projects.


Michele Zone said:
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. :)
 
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#15
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.
 
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#16
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 &#8220;Winning Political and Community Support for Your Project&#8221;. 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. :)
 

jhboyle

&#8193;&#8193;&#8193;&#8193;&#8193;
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#17
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 :)
 
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#19
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
 
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#20
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.
 
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