Open Process Hartford officials keep 'One City' on front burner
Hartford Courant editorial
August 07, 2010
Some communities finish their plans of conservation and development every decade, as required by state law, then stick the plan on the shelf and go back to doing what they did before. Not so Hartford, this time around.
City officials did a number of things right in preparing the decennial document, which guides thinking on growth and development. They merged all of the plans done in recent years — the two plans by planner Ken Greenberg, the Urban Land Institute study and the new iQuilt plan — into one document, called One City One Plan.
They also held a series of community forums, which were — pleasant surprise — well attended. More listening sessions followed, and then the plan was adopted this spring. Since then, chief operating officer David Panagore and his staff, with the support of new Mayor Pedro Segarra, have kept the ball rolling.
They began a monthly e-newsletter this month. Public meetings continue; there is one tonight at 5:30 p.m. at South Church's Stanley Room, moderated by University of Hartford President Walter Harrison, to discuss a long-term parking agreement as well as the city's transportation plan.
Perhaps more important, the city is responding to concerns that residents have raised. For example, many spoke of the need to upgrade and maintain the city's public parks. Later this month there will be a "Week of the Parks" to spruce them up, and more parks workers are being hired.
Hopefully, One City One Plan is issuing in a new era of public education and involvement. This is the way to generate ideas, projects and policies, and to build the public support necessary to bring them to fruition.
Hartford would be wise to reach out to residents of other communities who have an interest in the city. Hartford has much to do. The more people involved, the better.
Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant.
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