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Amy Kohn

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Amy Kohn is a Senior Planner at Goody Clancy, an architecture, planning and preservation firm in Boston. In this presentation she outlines her work in the Shirley Avenue Neighborhood of Revere, MA.

Amy Kohn is a Senior Planner at Goody Clancy, an architecture, planning and preservation firm in Boston. In this presentation she outlines her work in the Shirley Avenue Neighborhood of Revere, MA.

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  • Interculturalism implies that we plan with and not just for our diverse communities and that we actively engage with managing differences in our practiceWe conducted research this spring to understand whether the concept of cultural competency, frequently applied in the field of public health, has found its place in planning curriculaI give an overview of what culturally competent planning is, share highlights from our study’s findings, and discuss its implications for the future

Amy Kohn Amy Kohn Presentation Transcript

  • Planning for the INTERcultural CityPractice + VisionsTufts University Intercultural Planning Groupwww.sites.tufts.edu/tuftsicp
    October 22, 2010
  • Amy Kohn, Senior Planner, Goody Clancy
    Planning for the INTERcultural City
  • Shirley Avenue Neighborhood Gateway Planning Initiative
    Six month study ending in August 2009
    Sponsored by a Gateway Plus grant from the Massachusetts Dept. of Housing and Community Development (DHCD)
    Program provided $1.35 million to 18 cities
    Targeted housing, quality of life, and community/civic engagement
    Eligible to communities with
    Populations of over 35,000
    Median HH and Per Capita Incomes below state average
    Educational attainment rates below state average
    Grants of up to $75,000 per community
  • Shirley Avenue Neighborhood
    Dense, culturally diverse “gateway neighborhood” with excellent transit access and a lively if marginal business district
    In 2008, home to approx. 9,000 residents and 3,300 households
    Compared to the City as a whole or the Boston metro region, the neighborhood is younger, poorer and households are larger
    18% of residents have less than a 9th grade education
    Compared with the City as a whole, higher transiency rates, household vacancy and more distressed or foreclosed properties
    In March 2009, over 67% of vacant residential properties were in this neighborhood
    More than 30% of Revere’s 1,022 distressed or foreclosed properties were located in this neighborhood (Dec. 2008)
  • Meet the Shirley Avenue Neighborhood
  • Meet the Shirley Avenue Neighborhood
  • Meet the Shirley Avenue Neighborhood
  • Meet the Shirley Avenue Neighborhood
  • Workshop #1: Engaging more than the usual suspects
    All-out effort from Steering Group
    School Dept. translated flyers into 5 languages
    City Council member canvassed Shirley Avenue, inviting people to attend
    Contact with local organizations (Cambodian Temple, CEW)
    Food from neighborhood restaurants
    High school students help us translate
  • Workshop #1: Engaging more than the usual suspects
    Success!
    Over 100 participants!
    Diversity of the neighborhood represented!
    Sound system somehow located in back room!
    High school students faithfully translate verbal and written and questions/comments!
  • Workshop #1: Engaging more than the usual suspects
    We learn what concerns residents, including:
    Undersupply of park space
    Public safety
    High-traffic streets and intersections
    Desire for more libraries
    Concerns about illegal dumping
    …and we heard questions about:
    Access to affordable housing
    Fair treatment of youth
    How to find ESL programs
    How to find workforce training opportunities
  • Workshop #2: Fostering Ongoing Engagement
    Mini-Presentations from Police Chief, local social service providers and others in response to questions on:
    Housing
    Code enforcement
    Public safety
    Social Services
  • Workshop #2: Fostering Ongoing Engagement
    30 participants
    Very little diversity
  • Workshop #2: Engaging the usual suspects
    What Happened?
    Steering Group members committed – but had other commitments too
    People felt they’d already said what they needed to say
    People have busy, complicated lives

  • What we learned….
    Understand your goals—involvement in the plan or a longer term commitment?
    New relationships take time and resources
    Resources today are scarce!
    Language is a barrier – but not the only barrier
    Get schools involved
  • #1: Strengthen the Gateway to the Neighborhood
  • GATEWAY
  • #2: Improve Key Streets
  • SHIRLEY AVENUE
  • BEACH STREET
  • CENTENNIAL AVENUE
  • #3: Provide New and Improved Parks
  • PARKS
  • PARKS
  • PARKS
  • PARKS
  • #4: Address Priority Needs Throughout the Neighborhood
  • PHYSICAL NEEDS THROUGHOUT THE NEIGHBORHOOD
    REVISE ZONING AND TRASH ORDINANCES
    ADDRESS OTHER SIGNIFICANT STREET AND SIDEWALK NEEDS
  • Engaging hard to reach constituencies—the same but different
    Showing up
    Taking part
    Being heard
    Staying involved
    Measuring success and failure
  • Case Study #1
    Overburdened municipal staff
    Broad-based steering committee
    Cooperation with school department—volunteer translators
    Meeting flyers in multiple languages
    House calls by elected officials and community organizations
    Unprecedented meeting turnout….multiple languages….high school translators
    Good input; some unanswered questions
    Follow-up meeting less well attended ….why?
    Ideas captured in plan but sustained involvement is challenging
  • Case Study #2
    Deep municipal staff resources/capabilities
    Seek guidance from community leaders on how to build engagement
    Engage communities on home turf first
    Bring groups together later
    Make outreach personal—be visible at community events, churches, meeting places
    Get kids involved
    Commit staff resources to sustain contact