August 25: Best Practices Forum to Study Meadows Success

We are pleased to relay this press release from Northampton’s Office of Planning and Development.

August 7, 2008

Northampton – It took two years and eight major public forums to create a Land Use Plan for the 4,000 acres, mostly flood plain, called the Meadows that borders the Connecticut River in Northampton.

Now, three years later the City’s Best Practices Committee hopes to bring many of the original participants farmers, residents, business owners, city employees and elected officials together for the first time since the plan was accepted.

The purpose of this event is to record the story of what many consider a difficult but largely successful public process told by the people who made it happen. The forum, scheduled for August 25 at JFK Middle School, will include former Ward 3 City Councilor Marilyn Richards, current Ward 3 City Councilor Bob Reckman, (then Ward 3 Neighborhood Association President), Gerald Budgar, organizer of the Meadows Coalition, Director of Planning Wayne Feiden and Senior Planner Carolyn Misch.

The Best Practices Committee hopes to attract a number of the estimated 300 residents who were actively involved and other city residents. “We want to record as many voices as possible,” explains Lisa DePiano, co-chair of the Committee, “Why people acted, what they did and how they felt about the process”.

The Committee is researching models for best government practices and will make recommendations to the City Council later in the year.

The Meadows forum will begin at 5:30 PM in the JFK Middle School Community Room.


MEDIA CONTACT: Alex Ghiselin 413-586-1849.

See also:

Best Practices Ad-Hoc Committee Home

Notre Dame Urban Design Studio Project Slated for September 7-13
Design Forum, whose members include Northampton citizens interested in
fostering quality urban design, decided to invite the Notre Dame
University Urban Design Studio here in September. The Notre Dame group
will consist of six graduate students led by Professor Philip Bess, who
described the program at a public presentation held on June 2. The
students will spend a week engaging with the community and offering
design recommendations following the principles of sustainability and
traditional urban design.

Video: Best Practices Workshop Evaluates Public Forum; Hotel Decision-Making Process Scrutinized; Wanting More from Local Media

Best Practices: Pictures and Video from the May 13 Public Forum