Community Planning and Design Charrette program

Coming up:  Bristol’s Kelley Park, May 18-19, 2018.

 

Does your downtown, or perhaps a significant neighborhood in your community, need a change?  Perhaps more walkable, or appealing?  Is there too much through traffic – or not enough?  Maybe you want to make it more lively, or make it once again the place that says “This is my town.”

A Plan NH community charrette may be the assistance you need.

A Plan NH charrette brings together diverse professionals to brainstorm recommendations to address challenges a community faces.  Over a two-day period, the team visits the “target area” (eg, downtown or significant neighborhood), talks with community leaders and members, and develops recommendations based on what they have seen and heard and also on their own professional knowledge of ideas and trends that could contribute to healthy and vibrant communities.

Since the first Plan NH charrette saved the Belmont Mill in 1996, Plan NH has conducted over 60 charrettes in Granite State communities of all sizes.

  • In Somersworth in 2017, we looked at an underutilized strip mall just a stone’s throw from City Hall.  Tired storefronts, lots of cracked asphalt and a sense of desolate neglect characterized what we saw.  But, as Team Leader North Sturtevant (of JSA Architects) noted:  “Where they saw problems, we saw promise.”  Recommendions included a park, a facelift and second floor for the storefronts and more.  Committees were forming before we even finished packing up our drawing materials (!)
  • In Wilton, the team looked at the downtown to develop recommendations that could make it more appealing for economic growth and development.  Within a few weeks of our visit, the community had reviewed our suggestions and developed a list of 23 actions they wanted to pursue.  Pretty amazing.
The biggest impact we have had, however, is in the many communities where, we are told, we have brought diverse people together in a facilitated dialog to talk together about the future of their community.
  • “I had no idea others felt the same way I do”, we heard in Pittsfield.
  • “This was the first time those two groups sat down and talked, ” said a participant in Franklin.
  • “I thought this would be a big waste of time, ” we heard more than once, from (we found out later)  traditional naysayers.  “But I was wrong.  I had no idea it would turn out the way it did.”

Applications are reviewed as received, on a rolling basis.  Allow 3-4 months from time of application to actual event.

For more information and application materials, go here:
The Plan NH Community Design Charrette Program 2018