Tom Miller concludes his article on citizen surveys by covering the importance of: asking the right persons; testing the survey; and then conducting the survey, checking for bias, and interpreting the results
Misc. Planning Tools
A variety of other tools than can help planners & planning commissioners in their work.
Part 3 of Miller’s article on citizen surveys considers how to select the target population; appropriate survey size; and questions to ask in surveys — and how to ask them. Includes sidebar on drawbacks in phone and web-based surveys.
In Part 2, Tom Miller discusses his first three rules for conducting a citizen survey: determining why it is needed; how much to spend; and putting a team in place to develop and conduct the survey.
A scientifically conducted survey of residents brings in the voice of the public to bear on planning issues like no forum, newspaper straw poll, or focused discussion.
A look at how Portland has gone beyond “Walk Score” in using a detailed rating system to evaluate neighborhood “walkability” — and why one older neighborhood fares quite well.
All development is not created equal. Some development projects will make a community a better place to live, work, and visit. Other development projects will not. The proof is everywhere, communities that set low standards or no standards will compete to the bottom.
Twenty-first century economic development focuses on what a community has, rather than what it doesn’t have. Creating a vision for the future begins by inventorying a community’s assets: natural, architectural, human, educational, economic, and so on.
The Partnership for Sustainable Communities has a useful new tool available on their web site. Called, “HotReports,” it allows you to measure how your county is doing on several “sustainability indicators” — which you can then compare to statewide and national averages.
How would you like to take a course at a top-notch university, with some outstanding planning professors, for free? Now, you can do just that through a “MOOC.” Stuart Andreason explains.
Residents in established neighborhoods will often be very concerned about zoning proposals to allow new commercial uses close to their neighborhood. The question planners and planning commissioners must be able to answer is how the creation of a commercial district near a neighborhood will be a positive change.
Preservation planner Amy Facca provides an overview of the different kinds of plans used to strengthen local historic preservation efforts.
In the fourth installment of their series on low impact development, the Segedys provide an overview of ways communities can start to implement a LID program.
Community planners and economic development professionals are increasingly identifying communities’ signature elements, including location specific historic and related sites, as well as businesses and institutions that are part of the “creative economy.”