Start with Planning

CCAPA is pleased to announce the release of Start with Planning, our chapter’s policy platform for 2018 and a signature building block for good planning through technical assistance, public awareness and collaboration.  Our values not only “help planners plan” but also lend critical insights as Connecticut navigates through the year in the midst of a slow overall economic recovery and ongoing fiscal issues at many levels of government.  These challenges have understandably dominated statewide conversation, often leaving little room to emphasize the incredibly powerful stories of ingenuity and innovation happening across Connecticut.  We learned about these stories as part of the outreach for Start with Planning, which included small- and large-group conversations over the past six months.

This work is best summarized in our Winter 2018 special edition of CT Planning, our flagship publication, which features an overall summary of work accomplished to date and summary sections from a series of Policy Papers on key topics in planning.  A project Presentation Deck with a Summary of Member Comments from our conversation at SNEAPA in Providence is also posted on our website.

The Start with Planning message is focused on our collective sense of place, focusing on the authenticity of Connecticut as a core value and also recognizing the need to accelerate our pace in order to stay current with socio-economic trends moving at a far more rapid speed; and to continue to build up “Team Connecticut”, the broad coalition of technical professionals who can carry out the work in the years to come.  One immediate next step is the launch of CCAPA’s new Community Planning Assistance Team program.  Modeled after APA’s national program, CCAPA members are volunteering their time to assist you with a planning- or land use-related challenge in your community.

Pulling this initiative together required extraordinary efforts on the part of our members.  Special thanks to our chapter’s Executive Board, Government Relations Committee and Start with Planning research groups.  Guidance documents coming out of the University of Connecticut’s CIRCA program, the Connecticut Main Street Center and the Partnership for Strong Communities are particularly noteworthy.  The Regional Plan Association’s Fourth Regional Plan provided important guidance and emphasized the crisis in equity stating that, “in 2017, the region ranked as one of the least affordable and most highly segregated regions in the country by both race/ethnicity and income.”  Without a renewed commitment to social equity, there is simply nowhere to start on a path forward.

Our Government Relations Committee, co-chairs Amanda Kennedy and John Guszkowski, merit special recognition for the tireless efforts above and beyond their already-demanding responsibilities on the legislative side.  Thank you for your efforts on behalf of Connecticut’s planners!

I welcome your feedback on Start with Planning and encourage you to get involved.  We will continue the dialogue at an upcoming program or event, including Hot Topics this June and the Southern New England Planning Conference to be held October 18-19, 2018 in Harford.

If you would like more information on the many ways CCAPA can assist you in professional practice, please do not hesitate to call me at (203) 946-2867 or send me an email.

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