On Friday and Saturday, August 28 and 29, a team of Plan NH members and others will gather with Laconia Planner Shanna Saunders and her team to hold a community planning and design charrette.
Building on the extensive work that the City has been doing with the Orton Family Foundation, and in conjunction with an economic development project currently in place, Plan NH will look at the downtown, Lakeport (and Union Ave.) and the Weirs sections of the City and make recommendations for what to consider when updating the land use chapter of the Master Plan.
Plan NH is excited about this project for many reasons. First, our typical charrette process starts with a quick visioning session – this has already been done with Orton so we will be able to jump in deeper, right away – with more information from the start. Second, there has already been a great deal of ground work around land uses, economic development, and more – all of which will inform the team. Finally, this is really three charrettes in one – a challenge to be sure but we are up for it (!)
We have to go back and count, but we believe we have completed almost 60 charrettes since our first one in Belmont in 1996. For Plan NH, a charrette is a brainstorming session that addresses primarily community design issues – usually around a specific town center or neighborhood. The type of project determines the expertise – all volunteers – that we bring to the community. The charrette is a period of discovery – of what the team needs to know but also a time of discovery for the community itself regarding what its values are, what is important.
As a result of this cross-section of ideas and viewpoints, the recommendations are rich and greater than the sum of the parts.
For more information about the charrette program, check out the charrette page on the Plan NH website.