Building Communities
Latest Blog Posts

Kick-starting HUD Sustainability Planning Regions

What to do when your HUD Sustainability Planning Region is Stuck

Over the past two years, U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has funded 74 regions to develop Regional Plans for Sustainable Development.   Many of the regions are on course and the results of their planning efforts are emerging.   However, others are just now getting beyond the contracting phase, with start-up proving to be a real challenge.

Building Communities is the only lead regional sustainability planning company for three regions in the United States.  We have made it our business to develop very specific tools and approaches to help cities, counties, tribes and regions develop such regional plans.

Building Communities Principles and Methodology for
Regional Plan for Sustainable Development
Principles Methodology
Communities will best participate in regional planning when they are assured their own community priorities are supported Each city, town and tribe within the region begins involvement in the process by developing its own economic development strategic plan
Sound economic development planning leads to broader sustainability plans focused on transit, housing, livability and the environment During the initial community planning phase of the process, regional sustainability issues and projects emerge
The Livability Principles advanced by the HUD-DOT-EPA Partnership for Sustainable Communities form the foundation for sustainability planning
Upon adopting the community strategic plans, the region aggregates and prioritizes the sustainability issues into a Regional Sustainability Plan
Regional sustainability planning should result in activities that diversify the economy, provide transportation choices and offer affordable housing opportunities The regional consortium that developed the plan remains intact for plan implementation

Building Communities has been involved since the beginning.   Starting in August 2010, we have been meeting with regions, writing grant applications, helping to form consortia, offering help with administration and, most of all, conducting planning.  In fact, we have developed more than 50 community and economic development strategic plans since February 2012—all in the northeast Arizona, western North Dakota and east Arkansas HUD regions.

Because of our focus and drive, we are supporting some of the most active regions in the entire country.

Getting Unstuck

The reasons why regional sustainability planning regions get stuck are numerous, including:

Whatever the reason, you may be stuck.  The lack of momentum may be causing some to question the value of proceeding.

At Building Communities, we believe we have precisely the right solution—the same solution that has gotten our regions off to a very fast start: start local, then think regional.

As beneficial as regional planning can be for land use, transportation, housing and other objectives, the handful of citizens (the “Same Ten People”) who give the most to their community are almost always focused on their community, not their region.  It is this basic truth that drives Building Communities’ planning methodology.   By getting the local plans completed and quickly on the table, the regional and sustainability projects and issues can rapidly emerge.  From there, it is simply a matter of facilitating the process to fully capture the intent and power of the Livability Principles.

In 2013 and beyond, Building Communities is prepared to help your region become unstuck.   Our unrelenting pace in 2011, and especially in 2012, has put us in an excellent position to help you: our presentations and products are very refined and efficient, our staff is fully trained and ready and we are truly excited to put our brand of regional sustainability planning to work for you!

Give us a call at (541) 523-0400 to explore how we can help you immediately mobilize your region.   We are completely confident that within 90 days your region will be unstuck and well on its way to developing a Regional Plan that can produce more benefit—locally and to the region—than you ever imagined.

 

©2017 Building Communities, Inc.