April 23, 2014
by jhavens
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What the Public Wants

Emily Kettell Community Planning Workshop CPW Madras Hazards NHMP Intergration

My Community Planning Workshop team, Madras Hazards Plan Integration Project,  is working in the City of Madras to update a chapter in the city’s comprehensive plan regarding natural hazards. You might think that this project sounds pretty simple; we do some research and we write our chapter of the comprehensive plan. However, that is not the case! As I’ve learned in my first two quarters of graduate school involving the public is a crucial step that can’t be overlooked even in writing a few short pages about natural hazards. While the team has certainly been doing its fair share of research, one of our key objectives is to see what the public wants is included  so that the city can effectively address natural hazards in Madras.

To start off with, what is a comprehensive plan, and why am I blogging about it?

Madras has to address 14 of the 19 Oregon statewide planning goals in its comprehensive plan. This long-range document outlines where a community is at currently, where it wants to be in future, and how it will get there. A community should consider what kinds of elements to include in its comprehensive plan. Some typical elements that are usually included are land use, infrastructure, housing, parks, and education. Information from the comprehensive plan will inform more specific policies and citywide ordinances.

It is important for residents to understand their city’s comprehensive plan because everyone is supposed to have a chance to give input as the plan is being developed. After all, you should get a say in how you want your home, neighborhood, and city to change over time. As we identify citywide goals and possible policies, there is no one better to tell us how the city could mitigate natural hazards, such as flooding, than the residents themselves!

To get this input, we are conducting initial interviews with 10-15 stakeholders in Madras. We are hoping that local officials and property owners with land in the floodplain can tell us what they think residents, business owners, and city officials should do to mitigate natural hazards in Madras. This is a very important step because while our team certainly has some great ideas for potential policies, we should not get the final say in regards to how Madras decides to reduce its risk to natural hazards.

From these interviews, our team hopes to get a general feel as to how key stakeholders feel, and then we are going to try and produce more specific questions in the form of an online survey for all residents of the city. Another way we will get residents involved is through a public forum that we are going to hold in April.

By the end of the interviews, surveys, and public forum, our team hopes that we can draft the natural hazards chapter for the comprehensive plan and tailor what we write to what the residents of Madras want, as well as create a natural hazards chapter that will effectively lead to policy to mitigate natural hazards in Madras. As someone not from Madras (or Oregon) I shouldn’t have the final say of the content in the comprehensive plan and am happy that our team is working so hard to find out what is important to residents and how to incorporate this information in the most effective way possible.
Emily Kettell University of Oregon Community Planning Workshop CPW Madras Hazards Plan Integration

 

Emily Kettell is a first year Community and Regional Planning graduate student. She moved to Eugene from Chicago where she received her Bachelors degree from DePaul University, majoring in French and Public Policy, with a concentration in Environmental Studies.

April 22, 2014
by jhavens
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Team Mission: To Find Parking in Ashland

CPW Community Planning Workshop Ashland Sustainable Transportation

CPW’s Ashland Team Facilitates Parking Management Progress 

Visiting Ashland, Oregon is such a pleasure that on Wednesday, March 5 the Community Planning Workshop’s “Ashland’s Sustainable Transportation Team” embarked on their second expedition to that magical place of joy and unity. While there, the team embraced the spoils and character that Ashland’s downtown so aptly provides, including its illustrious pizza parlors, coffee shops, and a delightful stroll along the banks of Ashland Creek. Yet, the Ashland Team was visiting with purpose. The team was on a mission to find parking.

While the team was successful in finding parking that day, the primary mission is to assist the city in ensuring that all visitors, local residents, downtown employees, and business owners will have available and convenient parking throughout the year, particularly during the summer tourist season. Although the Ashland Team was not able to see Shakespeare’s The Tempest or Richard III on this trip, these plays and others draw hundreds of thousands of visitors to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in this town of 20,000 residents each year. Thus, the downtown parking situation in Ashland from June through September can be more of a midsummer night’s nightmare than a dream.

How will the Ashland Team help rectify this parking predicament? By guiding the Ashland Downtown Parking Management and Circulation project through several phases of research, culminating in the development of several policy packages. This process will be conducted collaboratively with the mayoral appointed Project Advisory Committee (PAC).

The PAC is composed of knowledgeable and dedicated Ashland city staff members and residents who won’t settle for just another set of planning options that will eventually collect dust on a shelf in the city’s archives. This group is committed to this project from planning through implementation phases for the benefit of Ashland’s downtown users. The Ashland Team’s role is to support the PAC’s decision making with in-depth research and analysis, and to escort the PAC through an organized, strategic, and publicly transparent policy development process.

And that brings us back to the Ashland Team’s second voyage to Oregon’s little city with big parking problems. On that day, the team came prepared to facilitate a meeting with the PAC, and facilitate they did! The meeting was highly productive as all participants came to the table ready to evaluate the findings from the project’s first Survey (which solicited an impressive near 800 responses) and discuss revisions to a draft of Guiding Principles compiled based on the survey results and other resources.

Team Ashland headed back to Eugene that night with important new insights. First, the PAC is composed of motivated and sophisticated individuals who care deeply about making a positive impact in their community. Second, with only a month between meetings the Team has a lot of work to do: composing a second survey, formalizing the Guiding Principles, planning an on-the-ground parking and bicycle monitoring effort, and beginning to craft the project’s policy alternatives.

Stay tuned next month for a report on our parking and bicycle monitoring effort!

Andrew Dutterer Ashland Sustainable Transportation CPW Community Planning WorkshopAbout the author: Andrew Dutterer is pursuing concurrent master’s degrees in Environmental Studies and Community & Regional Planning. At heart, Andrew is a trout and steelhead fishing bum who loves to spend time on any river, but he now realizes that parking is an interesting subject as well.

April 21, 2014
by jhavens
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Meet CPW’s Research Assistant: Jacqueline Fuentes

Jacky Fuentes Connected Lane County Aspirations Project CPW Community Planning WorkshopAlias: Jacky

Where were you born and where do you call home? Born and raised in southern California in the city of Irwindale and still consider it home.

What did you get for your birthday? Flowers, chocolate, Missouri frame, and study snacks. My birthday always falls during winter finals, so the fact that people take the time to give me presents in the midst of stressing is greatly appreciated.

In which graduate program are you enrolled?  I’m enrolled in the new Master’s program of Education in Counseling, Family, and Human Services (CFHS) with a specialization in Prevention Science.

What is your role with the Community Planning Workshop? I will be working with Jay Breslow and Jill Kornelis on the Connected Lane County Aspirations Project, exploring middle school student’s aspirations. During our middle school visits, I will take notes and help lead listening sessions. We’re hoping to learn more about middle school students’ aspirations and ways to improve current support systems to help them achieve them.

What are some of the project outcomes you hope to gain that will assist you professionally? I believe this job opportunity will help me learn about the importance of inclusion of key individuals when providing interventions. I’m excited because this is more of a bottom-up approach where we will be taking the time to ask students firsthand about their aspirations. I’m also looking forward to getting out into the community and visit various schools.

How does your involvement with the Community Planning Workshop relate to or inform your education? I am currently working with Dr. Ellen McWhirter on my capstone project that focuses on Latina/o high school students’ dropout intentions and college aspirations and have learned school related factors are important and need to be recognized when understanding students aspirations.

The Connected Lane County Aspirations Project overlaps with my current project and takes an additional step back to focus on middle school students. This is really neat and something I have not really seen done before. This type of approach can be considered as being an upstream approach and one that overlaps with prevention science.

What’s your favorite pig-out food? In-N-Out Burger

What advice would you give to your ‘younger’ self just beginning as a graduate student?  ”Take it one day at a time and focus on the journey, not the destination.”

Where can we ‘cyber-stalk’ you?
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/pub/jacqueline-fuentes/27/567/bb3