Participation in Land Use Planning
Participation by a wide variety of community stakeholders
in the planning process is essential. In an excellent report
by the Center for Livable Communities titled Participation
Tools for Better Land Use Planning, the value and necessity
of civic participation is outlined in the following five points.
Civic participation in the land use planning process:
1. Ensures that good plans remain intact over time
2. Reduces the likelihood of contentious battles
before councils and planning commissions
3. Speeds the development process and reduces the
cost of good projects
4. Increases the quality of planning
5. Enhances the general sense of community and
trust in government
The report provides descriptions and resources
for a range of civic participation techniques including Computer
Simulation, Simulation Games, Guided Tours, Design Charettes,
Visual Preference Survey, Visioning, Media Strategies, Facilitated
Meetings, and Formal Neighborhood groups.
In order to foster healthy communities, this Portland-based
nonprofit institution teaches the process of collaborative community
planning and facilitates charrettes.
Rules: A New England Guide to Smart Growth Strategies
A guidebook by the Conservation Law Foundation and
the Vermont Forum on Sprawl for volunteer board members, planners,
concerned citizens, and others who want to achieve smart growth
in their communities through better planning, zoning, and permitting.
This New York organization strives to help communities integrate
their natural resources, cultural heritage, and economic development
potential, and thus embrace community stewardship.
A publication of the Vermont Design Institute that highlights tools for community building, visioning, design charrettes, design review districts, and open-space planning, and also discusses principles of sustainability, defines design vocabulary, and includes several inspirational pieces.
Tools for Better Land Use Planning
Published by the Local Government Commission.
Camera, Community Video
The Orton Family Foundation, in partnership with the American
Planning Association, offers this manual aimed at boosting citizen
involvement in community planning, based on work with five communities
in Vermont and Colorado. The manual is written to help a community
produce a high quality, professional video that documents the
history of a community and identifies areas that need attention
in the planning process.
A tool to help communities diagnose and address current planning
issues and needs, from the Vermont Forum on Sprawl in partnership with the Orton Family Foundation, includes
citizen involvement strategies.
Planning for Community,
Energy, Economic, and Environmental Sustainability (PLACE3S)
A land use and urban design method created specifically to help
communities understand how their growth and development decisions
can contribute to improved sustainability.
the People into Planning: A Primer on Public Participation in
A "how to" manual for developing and managing successful programs
for citizen involvement. Published by the Oregon
Land Use Information Center.
Building Citizen Involvement: Strategies for Local Government
This training workbook, developed jointly by the International
City/County Management Association (ICMA) and the National
League of Cities (NLC), is designed to give elected and appointed
local government officials the information, tools, and skills
needed to be effective in promoting citizen involvement and
community problem solving. ICMA Telephone number for orders:
Center for Understanding the Built Environment.
Sponsors Box City and Walk Around the Block, programs to provide
children with hands-on introduction to community design and
Land Use Project
Works to help citizensí groups with proposed land development
and revitalization. Provides a collaborative, citizen-based
process for conceptualizing new land development and revitalization
Neighborhood Charette Handbook
Describes the Charette method as one of the best tools to build
a successful planning and community sustainability process.
Sponsors a Sustainable Communities Program with an emphasis
on citizen participation in developing and implementing local
visions of a sustainable future.
Community Voices for Sustainability -- A Workshop
Presents a guide for helping community members identify genuine
decision-making opportunities and for building a community-wide
process for promoting sustainability. Available from the
Izaak Walton League of
America Sustainability Education Project, 707 Conservation
Lane, Gaithersberg, MD 20878-2983.
a Local Greenprint for Growth
This working paper from the Trust for Public Land includes a
chapter specifically on Engaging the Public, with strategies
for keeping the public informed and involved in land conservation.
Ruth Vreeland Public Participation Guide
This web page from the Institute for Local Self Government in
California offers Public Participation Tips, a glossary of land use terms, and information on how to get involved in land use decisions.
This 32-page booklet and companion website offer a citizen's
guide to shaping the future of Maryland. Picture Maryland
provides citizens with information about community design, open
space, transit, and other growth issues, and furnishes contact
information for local government planning offices.
Planner Training Collaborative
The CPTC provides local planning and zoning officials with tools
to make effective decisions regarding their community's current
and future land use. Their website offers example bylaws and
on-line training sessions.
Citizen Planner Training Program
This 10-module training program was developed by the North Carolina
chapter of the American Planning Association. It is designed
to familiarize planning commissioners or board members with
the planning process in the state. The program can be downloaded
Community & Environmental
A combination of a traditional nonprofit, a law clinic, and
a consulting group that helps people organize and obtain services
to defend their community and environment from the impact of
poorly planned land development activities.
Last updated: December 20, 2004
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