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Beyond Land Use
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Beyond Land Use






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    Beyond Land Use Beyond Land Use Presentation Transcript

    • Beyond Land Use: Bringing Non-Traditional Partners to the Table
    • Welcome!• Moderator: – Nathaniel Karns, AICP, Berkshire Regional Planning Commission• Speakers: – Nancy Stoll, Berkshire United Way – Virginia Kasinki, Glynwood Center – Amy Kacala, Berkshire Regional Planning Commission
    • How has the role of planner changed?• Then • Now – Physical development only – Multiple non-traditional or primary focus conversations – Used data to provide – Much more multi-faceted macro context interactions – Focused on coordination & – Key role is still coordination interrelationships at a fairly and interrelationships – simplistic level but at a much more complex and in-depth level – Much higher demand for data to be used to track results
    • What are some of the drivers?• Fewer resources• More emphasis on integrated/holistic approaches v. silos• Focus on metrics – Making the case/identifying the priority – Showing impact and change over time
    • Old tools, new applicationsTools: • Project Case Studies: Data – Early Childhood Mapping Education Strategic Planning – Local Food and Agriculture – Regional Sustainability Plan
    • The Setting
    • A partnership is born • Shift to Community Impact – Goal-setting process – Data-driven issue selection – Focus on measuring community condition change over time • Partnership with Berkshire Benchmarks
    • Baseline Report identifies certain challenges• High poverty rate
    • Baseline Report identifies certain challenges• High teen pregnancy rate
    • Baseline Report identifies certain challenges• Low educational attainment Intergenerational Poverty
    • Where to start?• Looking for deep, sustained change• What can we do today to create real change on all of these fronts in 10 or 20 years?
    • Breaking the cycle• Early childhood education – Decades of research show multiple long-term benefits • Improved school performance and educational attainment levels • Healthier adult lifestyles • Better economic outcomes • Social equity and diminishing the “achievement gap”
    • Data serves as a call to action• 60% of children in 3rd grade score proficient or above on MCAS • 40% of children in 3rd grade not proficient in English!
    • Convened a discussion of ECE Experts• Early Childhood Education Think Tank – High-risk family ECE/child care providers – Pediatric/health representatives – School district early childhood coordinators – Foundations/Funders – State ECE and special program administrators – Compact for Education (MCLA), BCC – State Readiness Center – BRPC and BUW
    • Developed a strategic plan• Where were they? – Lots of initiatives, some duplication – Trying to do same or more with less – Struggling to get ready for QRIS – Feeling overwhelmed!• ECETT Strategic Plan – 10 month effort using classic planning process – Set roadmap for moving forward
    • Meanwhile, started a new conversation with non-traditional partners• Berkshire Priorities • Brought new players to – Business Leaders the table – Foundations • More clout in appropriate – School Superintendents circles to help with: – Media – Political leaders – Employers – Etc.
    • Set an aspiration• 90% Proficient of Above in 3rd Grade English MCAS by 2020
    • Bringing it back together
    • Implementing as we go• Coalitions successfully initiating projects to effect change at family, city, and regional levels: – AACA/Pittsfield Promise – Reach Out and Read – Bookend County – Race to the Top Grant
    • Keep Farming®• Engages the entire community – including farmers - to support local agriculture.• Based on information not otherwise available.• Helps communities create land use and economic development strategies.• Builds the constituency to support long-term implementation.
    • The local reality• Challenges: – Agriculture not seen as “real” economic activity – Very few land use tools to protect agricultural land – Aging farmers + low/no farm profits + high land values = farms being sold• Bright Spots: – Strong “local” ethic – Berkshire Grown – existing network and advocacy – Understanding of passive value of landscape to the region’s identity and economy – New farmers looking for land
    • Value of a regional approach• Agriculture resources & infrastructure don’t respect town boundaries so planning for them must be done on a larger scale.• Consistent local regulations & policies make farming more efficient & economically viable.• Local communities working together have greater impact.
    • 1 2 34 5
    • The approach• Work with volunteers to • Who are the volunteers? gather original data – Berkshire Grown – Quantify Supply and – Chambers of Commerce Demand (Surveys!) – Land Trusts • Restaurants – Local Foundations • Distributors – Boards of Health • Residents – Hospitals • Farmers – Western Mass Food Bank • Institutions – Colleges • Emergency Food System – Farmers (new!) – Foodies – Agricultural Commissions – Community Groups – Community garden organizers
    • Who are the volunteers? – Berkshire Grown – Chambers of Commerce – Land Trusts – Local Foundations – Boards of Health – Hospitals – Western Mass Food Bank – Colleges – Farmers – Foodies – Agricultural Commissions – Community Groups – Community Garden Organizers – Students
    • The approach• Work with farmers to understand challenges and opportunities – Farmers forum – Farm surveys (interviews) – Farm maps
    • Eye on implementation• Regional steering committee with potential implementation partners• Regional panel series on implementation topics• Looking for grants as trends emerge in survey results – don’t wait till the end
    • Pulling it all togetherREGIONAL SUSTAINABILITY PLAN
    • Required Elements in MA• Comprehensive Plans - Required Elements (MGL Ch41 s81d) – Goals and Policies • Land Use • Housing • Economic Development • Natural and Cultural Resources • Open Space and Recreation • Services and Facilities • Circulation / Transportation – Implementation Strategy
    • A change of approach• Making “sustainability” Environment meaningful requires a real focus on the often neglected third “E” Economy Equity
    • Regional Consortium• The “usual suspects” • New faces – Housing – Health – Economy – Social service – Environment – Diversity trainers – Municipal – Faith-based
    • Broader list, more integrated approach • Plan elements – Historic preservation – Conservation & recreation – Economy – Housing & neighborhoods – Energy – Transportation & mobility – Infrastructure & services – Land Use
    • Economic Element• Research into the “new economy” and “creative economy” shows prominent role of people and place in economic development• Approaching economy through five themes 1. Workforce and a culture of learning 2. Open, active and inclusive social community 3. Innovation-friendly business environment 4. Quality of life 5. Local and regional leadership
    • Social equity connections to economy emerged quickly• PK-12 environment emphasized – Workforce development (young workers) – Business and talent attraction (good schools)• Culturally competent and socially inclusive – Talent attraction and retention – Tourist-based economic activity• Health and wellness – Pedestrian-friendly environments (downtowns) – Healthy workers
    • Housing and Neighborhoods Element• Modeling “sustainable neighborhoods” – Data grouped into four categories: • People-friendly places and spaces • Integrated and inclusive • Safe and healthy • Ecological footprint – Goal is to be able to identify areas of strength and weakness in each context (rural, suburban, urban)
    • Intentionally tackling social conditions• Cultural competency training• Identifying geographies of need – Combination of conditions that make intergenerational poverty cycle more likely to continue
    • Getting to implementation• Housing and neighborhoods subcommittee – Implementation partners – New information for them! • Taking things from anecdotal to maps and trend lines• Important role of RPAs in this discussion – There are some facts people with “interests” want to gloss over
    • What we’re learning• New collaborations – Different “languages” to learn – Need to build trust – Need to be on the lookout for property lines (turf) and land mines (sensitivities – history, performance, etc)
    • Feeling your way through• DO: Become a partner and advocate – Invite new partners to the table as connections between topics or initiatives become clearer – Offer to help! – Share what you know or hear that can help them succeed with their initiative• DON’T: Be one-sided or insincere – Give and take (not tug of war) – Don’t “dial it in”
    • At a project management level• Flexibility - modified scope of work to accommodate new work – Keep Berkshires Farming – Cultural Competency• Adaptability - willingness to have conversations and consider new approaches on the fly as unforeseen issues, needs, and opportunities emerge
    • At the agency level• Internally, thinking in a more integrated way about the connections between our own projects• As RPA, these are lasting relationships that don’t end with a project contract/grant – Real collaborations sustained over time – Numerous cross-pollination opportunities
    • Final Thoughts• Started with a commitment to a result in mind – Didn’t know all the answers – Didn’t have all the resources in hand• Planner tools of data, maps, and strategic planning frameworks can make areal contribution to grassroots and social efforts