Approaching neighborhoods with a community focus

Boise—city of neighborhoods? Credit: Andrew Crisp. Accessed 4/5/2014.

Boise—city of neighborhoods? Credit: Andrew Crisp. Accessed 4/5/2014.

This Spring, members of our Community and Regional Planning cohort have embedded themselves within three Boise neighborhoods, Morris Hill, West Valley and Collister. Through interviews with residents and major stakeholders, each neighborhood has revealed a rich local history, diverse, fascinating individuals and together have opened a window into better understanding the larger city itself. However, our process, in my mind, has also revealed the blatant underrepresentation of neighborhoods within the local planning process.

Boise can and should more fully embrace a neighborhood planning approach. Both city officials and residents themselves have made strides in recent years, but more can be done to integrate a neighborhood focus into the larger effort to guide growth and change in the city. Instead of planning for neighborhoods, policymakers ought to engage in efforts to empower neighborhoods to plan for themselves.
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Kickstarted: Crowd-funding Projects for Urban Environments

A view of a project proposal successfully funded via the Kickstarter platform. Courtesy + POOL Kickstarter page. http://kck.st/11VY7Sd

A view of a project proposal successfully funded via the Kickstarter platform.
Courtesy + POOL Kickstarter page. http://kck.st/11VY7Sd

It wasn’t the same old Duany song-and-dance at a recent conference hosted by the Florida chapter of the Congress for the New Urbanism. At the University of Miami in late January, acclaimed neotraditionalist architect and planner Andres Duany, of Seaside fame, “fell on his sword,” writes planner-writer Erin Chantry. The New Urbanist pioneer, humbled, admitted that tenets of the philosophy he helped make famous, years later, required rethinking.
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