Monday, December 13, 2010

Study Says Walkable Neighborhoods Have Happier People



One of the major themes that came out of the Quadrant meetings was a desire for walkable neighborhoods. A recent University of New Hampshire study points to some interesting benefits of living in a neighborhood that can be considered walkable. The researchers found residents in neighborhoods with higher Walk Score ratings reported being happier and healthier and and were more apt to volunteer and work on community projects. Click here for the story in USA Today.

In Manchester, we are fortunate in that we already have many neighborhoods that can be considered walkable. Go to Walkscore.com to find out your neighborhood's "walkscore". (This blogger got a 65).

Thursday, December 2, 2010

What Should Broad Street Look Like?


Many who attended the 2020 Quadrant Meetings and Summit offered thoughts on the Broad Street area and on how a mixed-use development district should look. Here is a chance to offer some more input.

The Redevelopment Agency and Planning and Zoning Commission are currently in the process of developing new "form-based" zoning regulations for the redevelopment area, which regulate the design and layout of public and private spaces and buildings as well as the uses and activities allowed in the zone. Form-based codes are intended to allow flexibility in use, while ensuring development creates an attractive and unique place. The results of the survey will help guide the Agency, the PZC and the Town's consultants in formulating the new zoning regulations’ design standards.

Please take a moment to follow this link and complete a visual preference survey for the Broad Street Redevelopment Area. The survey is a fun, 15-20 minute exercise in which you will be asked to look at a series of photographs and rate each one based on whether it would be something that is desirable or undesirable for the Broad Street Redevelopment Area. Thanks for your participation and for passing this on to your Manchester friends and networks!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Quadrant Summit Documents


Materials from the November 17th Quadrant Summit are now available. At the Summit, planning staff reviewed the comments and suggestions generated by the Manchester community at the Quadrant Discovery Workshops held over the past four months. Major themes and key locations relating to each of the five Growth Management Principles were addressed, as were potential next steps in the planning process. Links to that presentation, along with larger versions of the two compilation maps, are avalable below. Also below is a record of proceedings, which includes all the comments from each of the workshops. Keep an eye out for a feature article in the Manchester Reminder in the coming weeks.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Next Housing Boom

Many participants in the Manchester 2020 Quadrant meetings expressed a desire for livable, walkable neighborhoods. Check out this link to a recent article from the Brookings Institution. The author makes a case for why the next real estate boom will be fueled by those looking for walkable communities that have access to public transit. Both the Baby Boomers and their children (which together make up half of the US population) are expressing a strong desire to live in these types of communities, but at present, we are continuing to build housing and neighborhoods according to the old model of car-dependant suburbs. He says ending government subsidies that promote sprawl, and instead incentivizing "smart" development would unleash demand for these livable types of communities and drive a revitalized, sustainable real estate market.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

November 17th Quadrant Summit

Hundreds of members of the Manchester community participated in the 2020 Quadrant Discovery Workshops over the past four months to offer input on what is going on in Manchester today and their hopes and ideas for the future. Together, we discussed issues including the conservation of natural resources, historic and cultural preservation, redevelopment of commercial centers, transit-oriented development and housing opportunities. Of course, since our final meeting last month, the big question on everyone's lips has been: "What's next?"


Well, here's what's next: We will be hosting a Quadrant Summit on November 17th at 7 p.m. at Manchester Country Club. All members of the Manchester community are welcome to attend, regardless of if you were able to attend one or more Quadrant Workshops. At the Summit, Planning Staff will review of all the comments from the Quadrant Workshops, including some common themes. We will be asking for input from those attending: What did you hear? What did we miss? Next steps in the process will also be addressed.

The level of public participation at the quadrant discovery workshops was fantastic and we hope those who participated will continue to be involved in the process. Of course, there is always room for new voices. The Summit would be a great place to start!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Our series of Quadrant Discovery Workshops concluded with great success on Wednesday evening at the Manchester Historical Society. Approximately 70 people from the Manchester community participated in discussions on the present and future of Manchester's Southwest Quadrant. For those who would still like to comment but were unable to attend, we will be holding open hours at the Historical Society, 175 Pine Street from 12-6 this Tuesday, October 26th. Staff will be available with maps of the area and comments compiled from the workshop. Those who did attend are also welcome to come take a look at the comments from all the other groups.

Staff will now begin putting together all the ideas and comments from all four quadrant workshops and piecing together common themes. We will be scheduling a meeting sometime in November to report this information as a next step in the planning process. Be on the lookout for information on that meeting, coming soon.

Take a look at our participation map, below. Each dot represents someone who has participated in the Manchester 2020 Planning Process so far. Those who attended the Planning Academy in June are represented by an orange dot. Those who joined the process during the quadrant discovery workshops are represented by a blue dot. 166 dots so far! Are you represented? There will be plenty of other opportunities to participate as we work to create the plan over the coming months.









Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Final Quadrant Workshop One Week from Today



The Southwest quadrant has been waiting patiently for its day in the sun. Last but not least, the southwest will finally be featured in the final Manchester 2020 quadrant discovery workshop, which will take place on Wednesday, October 20th, 2010 at 7 p.m. at the Manchester Historical Society at 175 Pine Street.

The southwest quadrant includes the historic West Side, the Keeney and part of the Verplanck neighborhood, Manchester Community College, Laurel Marsh, the Cheney mills and mansions, the Spencer Street commercial area, Botticello farms and part of Downtown. As at each of the previous three quadrant discovery workshops, we will be discussing what is currently going on in this area of town, what we would like it to be like in the future and how it might relate to smart growth and sustainable development.

For those unable to attend on the 20th, we will again be holding alternate open hours. Those will be held from 12-6 p.m. on Tuesday, October 26th at the Historical Society.

An RSVP is not required, but is appreciated. Please call the Planning Department at 860-647-3044 or email anderson@ci.manchester.ct.us to register.






Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Local Agriculture

Many participants in our Manchester 2020 Quadrant Discovery Workshops have mentioned preserving and promoting agriculture in town as a potential goal for the Manchester 2020 plan. MAPA, the Manchester Agriculture Preservation Association, is a community group whose mission is to do just that. Currently, MAPA is organizing two "work parties" on Sunday, October 10th and is working to create edible school yards in Manchester. Check out the MAPA blog HERE.


Planning for Agriculture is another useful site for those interested in preserving farms and farming in Connecticut. The site outlines the economic, fiscal, environmental and recreational benefits of local agriculture and includes tools some municipalities have used to protect agricultural land and promote local farming viability. Click HERE for the Planning for Agriculture website and HERE for a pdf version of Planning for Agriculture: A Guide for Connecticut Municipalities.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

1000 Friends of Connecticut- Growing Smart in Tough Times

1000 Friends of Connecticut will be holding its annual meeting, entitled "Growing Smart in Tough Times" on Wednesday, October 6th from 4-6 p.m. The meeting is being held at 360 State Street, a new sustainable, mixed-use development in New Haven. 1000 Friends of Connecticut is a statewide organization dedicated to growing a healthy economy with choice in transportation, housing and education; and respect for farmlands, open space, natural and historic resources. Speakers will touch on many of the growth management topics we have been discussing at our Quadrant Workshops and at this summer's Planning Academy. All are welcome to attend.

For more information or to register, click on the image below, or visit http://www.1000friends-ct.org/

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Last But Not Least...The Southwest


The last of our four Quadrant discovery workshops will take place on Wednesday, October 20th at 7 p.m. at the Manchester Historical Society at 175 Pine Street. This workshop will focus on the Southwest Quadrant, which includes the historic West Side, the Keeney and portions of the Verplanck neighborhoods, the Spencer Street area and parts of Downtown. For those who have attended one or more of the previous workshops, you know the format: We will be discussing the present condition of this area of town, what we would like to see there in the future and how those ideas relate to the state's Growth Management Principles. Everyone who comes will have the opportunity to participate and all ideas will be heard. We especially welcome those who have not attended a workshop yet and people who live in the Southwest part of town. Of course, members of the Manchester community are invited and encouraged to participate!

For more information, or to RSVP, please contact the planning department at 860-647-3044 or via email at anderson@ci.manchester.ct.us.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Compiled Comments from the SE Quadrant Workshop

Below are map images containing all the compiled comments from the Southeast quadrant discovery workshop on September 14th. All are welcome to come take a closer look at these maps and to make additional comments tomorrow, Wednesday, September 22nd from 12-6 at the Lutz Children's Museum, 247 South Main Street. Enjoy!

Growth Management Principle 1:
Conservation, Restoration and Protection of the Natural Environment, Farmland, and Assets Critical to Public Health and Safety.









Growth Management Principle 2:
Conservation, Restoration and Protection of Cultural and Historic Resources.










Growth Management Principle 3:
The Redevelopment and Revitalization of Commercial Centers and Areas of Mixed Land Uses.










Growth Management Principle 4:
Concentration of Development Around Transportation Nodes and Major Transportation Corridors.










Growth Management Principle 5:
Expansion of Housing Opportunities and Design Choices in a Variety of Housing Types.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Southeast Success!



The Southeast Quadrant discovery workshop on Tuesday at Bennet Academy was a big success. Over 70 people from the Manchester community came to share thoughts, ideas and suggestions about the current state of the Southwest Quadrant and what the future might hold.

Staff is currently compiling all of the comments from those who participated. Keep a lookout for images of those maps to be posted in the coming days. For those who were unable to attend and would still like to offer comments, or for those who did attend and want to see what all the other groups talked about, we will be holding open hours next week, on Wednesday, September 22nd from 12-6 at the Lutz Museum on South Main Street.

Additionally, if you are interested in learning more about what makes a Livable Neighborhood and what you can do to strengthen the neighborhoods in the Southeast Quadrant, check out this Neighborhood Organizing Workshop on Wednesday at 6:30. This is not a Manchester 2020 event, but provides a great connection between what we have been discussing at the discovery workshops and what residents can do now to help improve their neighborhoods.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Livable Neighborhoods Organizing Workshop

Excitement is building for the Southeast Quadrant discovery workshop one week from today- Tuesday, September 14th at 7 p.m. in the Bennet Academy cafeteria! For those interested in continuing the conversation and perhaps getting more involved in strengthening the neighborhoods of the Southeast Quadrant, the Office of Neighborhoods and Families will be holding a Livable Neighborhoods Organizing Workshop the following week- on Wednesday, September 22nd. Click on the attached flyer or call the Office of Neighborhoods and Families at 860-647-3089 for more information.


Friday, August 27, 2010

End of the American McMansion?

Here is an interesting blurb from CNN Money, indicating the average American home is starting to shrink after years of expansion: http://money.cnn.com/2010/08/26/real_estate/the_typical_homeowner/index.htm

For those interested in housing-related trends, take a look at a report by the Urban Land Institute entitled Housing in America: The Next Decade. It's available in our Reference Library.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Manchester's Former Trolley Lines

Exploring possibilities for more public transit between Manchester's activity centers has been one of the themes brought up by participants in the first two Quadrant Discovery Workshops. Many people noted Manchester once had a system of trolley lines. We found this map of the Connecticut Company's East Hartford, Manchester and Rockville lines in Images of Rail: Hartford Trolleys by the Connecticut Motor Coach Museum. The map shows a line running from Hartford and East Hartford west to the former Laurel Park, through Depot Square and on to Rockville. Branches also brought passengers to and from Manchester Green and South Manchester. Click on the map to view a zoomable pdf.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Southeast Quadrant Workshop- September 14th- Don't Miss It!

The third of our four Quadrant discovery workshops will take place on Tuesday, September 14th at 7:00 p.m. in the Bennet Academy cafeteria. At this workshop we will be discussing the Southeast Quadrant, which includes the historic East Side, Highland Park and Martin neighborhoods. This area includes parts of Downtown, the Porter and Howard Reservoirs, Case Mountain, Globe Hollow, Charter Oak Park and part of the Charter Oak Greenway, Oak Grove Nature Center, parts of East Center and East Middle Turnpike, and many other natural features and land uses. As in the first two Quadrant workshops, we will be engaging in conversation about what is going on in this part of town, what we would like it to be like in the future, and how it might relate to the State's Growth Management principles. We had at least 55 people participate at each of the previous two Quadrant workshops. Let's keep the momentum going!

To RSVP, please call the Manchester Planning Department at 860-647-3044 or email us at anderson@ci.manchester.ct.us.


Monday, August 9, 2010

How Walkable is Your Neighborhood?

A desire for walkability has been a common theme at the first two Quadrant discovery workshops. Manchester is fortunate in that we already have many walkable residential neighborhoods. How walkable is your neighborhood? Go to Walkscore.com and type in your address to find out. If you are willing, make a comment below and let us know how your neighborhood rates!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

1,000 Hits and New Reference Library Links!

Manchester2020plan.net just had our 1,000th web hit! To celebrate, we have updated our ever-expanding Reference Library with three new links. "Retrofitting Suburbia" (20 minute video) and "Bicycle-Friendly Communities" (slide show presentation) address two issues brought up by many people during our first two Quadrant discovery workshops.
In the first, Ellen Dunham-Jones, architect and a board member of the Congress for the New Urbanism, discusses how under-performing suburban shopping centers and parking lots provide opportunities for retrofitting and redeveloping into more sustainable uses. The second is a presentation from the League of American Bicyclists on what communities can do to be considered bike-friendly.

We have also included a ABC News Special Report published earlier this week entitled "Smart Money in Real Estate is on Smart Growth". You can find these and many other resources HERE.

Here's to our next 1,000 hits!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Change of Open Hours Location

Due to a police emergency in town today, we are unable to use the Police Department community room for our open hours. We are changing the location to the Lincoln Center Directors Room, 494 Main Street. For more information, please call the Planning Department at 860-647-3044.

Monday, August 2, 2010

NE Quadrant Comments: The Redevelopment and Revitalization of Commercial Centers

Here is the final map with compiled comments from the Northeast Quadrant discovery workshop. This one highlights Growth Management Principle 3: Redevelopment and Revitalization of Commercial Centers and Areas of Mixed Land Uses.



Looking forward to seeing many of you at the open hours tomorrow from 12-6 in the Police Department Community Room. Stop by to see all the maps and comments and to make some of your own.

Also, stay tuned for news on our third Quadrant discovery workshop on the Southeast Quadrant.

NE Quadrant Comments: Cultural and Historic Resources

Below is the map of compiled comments on cultural and historic resources from the Northeast Quadrant discovery workshop.


Friday, July 30, 2010

NE Quadrant: Housing Opportunities

And here is the NE Quadrant map with compiled comments on Growth Management Principle 5: Expansion of Housing Opportunities and Design Choices in a Variety of Housing Types:


NE Quadrant Comments: Conservation and Restoration of the Natural Environment

Here is the second map with compiled comments from the Northeast Quadrant discovery workshop. This one highlights Growth Management Principle 1: Conservation and Restoration the Natural Environment, Farmland, and Assets Critical to Public Health and Safety.


Thursday, July 29, 2010

NE Discovery Workshop Comments: Transportation Nodes and Corridors

Staff is busy compiling all of the comments from Tuesday's Northeast Quadrant discovery workshop. Over the coming days, we will be posting pictures of each of the five compiled maps. This first map includes comments on Growth Management Principle 4: Concentration of development around transportation nodes and along major transportation corridors to support the viability of transportation options and land reuse . For a closer look, or to make additional comments, stop by the open hours at the Manchester Police Department Community Room on Tuesday, August 3rd from 12-6.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Tomorrow Night's Quadrant Workshop






Don't forget:
Northeast Quadrant Workshop
Tomorrow Night
July 27, 2010
Manchester Senior Center
7 p.m.








Tuesday, July 20, 2010

One Week From Tonight

The Northeast Quadrant discovery workshop will be held on June 27th- one week from tonight- at the Manchester Senior Center at 7 pm. Our first workshop, on the Northwest quadrant, was a great success. Over 75 people attended the workshop or the open hours the following week to discuss that area of town. We hope to build on the momentum of the first here in the Northeast Quadrant. Of course we are hoping many residents from this quadrant will participate in discussing what's going on in this side of town and what the future might hold, but ALL members of the Manchester community are invited and encouraged to participate. Although it is not necessary to register in advance, an RSVP would be appreciated so we have an idea of how many will be attending. Call 860-647-3044 or email anderson@ci.manchester.ct.us to RSVP. See you there!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

To Find Out More...

Have you had the chance to check out our Reference Library? The library includes links to websites and documents on comprehensive planning, smart growth, demographics and other topics of importance when thinking about Manchester's future. If anyone has suggestions for valuable resources to incluce, please let us know. Also, remember that videos and presentations from our Planning Academy are available HERE.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Moving on...to the Northeast Quadrant

We had a great turnout for our first quadrant workshop and open hours. Over 70 members of the community offered input on the Northwest Quadrant and on what they would like to see there in the future. Staff will be compiling all of the comments, suggestions and ideas, and doing some research in preparation for a follow-up meeting in the fall.

For now, it's time to move on to the Northeast Quadrant. This area includes the Buckley and Bowers neighborhoods, Manchester Business Park, Lydall Reservoir and Brook, Manchester Green, East Middle Turnpike, the Hop River Linear Park and various cultural and institutional assets. Click HERE to view a quadrant map.

The Northeast Quadrant workshop will take place on Tuesday, July 27th at 7 p.m. in the Senior Center at 549 East Middle Turnpike. This workshop will follow the same format as the first quadrant workshop, with small groups engaged in facilitated discussions on current conditions in this area, what it could look like in the future, and how it relates to the concepts of smart growth and sustainability. For those who cannot attend, we will be holding alternate open hours on August 3rd from 12-6 in the Police Department community room.

While an RSVP is not required, it is appreciated. Please call 860-647-3044 or email anderson@ci.manchester.ct.us to do so.


Tuesday, July 6, 2010

NW Open Hours Wednesday 12-6

If you were unable to attend the Northwest Quadrant workshop last week, make sure to stop by on Wednesday (July 7th) at the 8th Utilities District Offices at 18 Main Street. Staff will be on hand from 12-6 PM to hear and record your thoughts and suggestions on the Northwest Quadrant. If you did attend the workshop last week, feel free to stop in to see the comments and suggestions offered by all the other groups. Perhaps most importantly: Yes- The room is air conditioned!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

NW Quadrant Workshop a Success. Still Opportunities to Participate

The Manchester 2020 Quadrant meetings got off to a successful start last night at the 8th Utilities District offices. Over 60 members of the community came together to discuss what is currently going on in this area of town and what we would like to see in the future. Participants were split up into five small groups and rotated to five stations, each focusing on one growth management principle. The groups shared ideas and answered several questions about how each principle related, or could relate to the Northwest quadrant. Planning department staff will now compile all the ideas expressed at the workshop, and conduct research in preparation for a follow-up meeting in the fall.

If you were unable to attend, you still have the opportunity to contribute to the discussion on this quadrant. On Wednesday, July 7th from 12-6, staff will be available at the 8th Utilities District offices at 18 Main Street. We will have maps with comments from last night's meeting on hand and will be available to anyone who wishes to drop in and offer input. Participants at last night's meeting are also welcome to stop by to see the compiled ideas and comments.

From here, we will be moving to the Northeast Quadrant. The Northeast Quadrant meeting will take place on Tuesday, July 27th at 7 PM at the Senior Center at 549 East Middle Turnpike. This workshop will follow the same format and all members of the Manchester community are welcome.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

From Buckland Hills to Busways: Lots to Talk About

Union Pond. Buckland Hills. Wickham Park. Manchester Memorial Hospital. The Waddell Neighborhood. Buckland Industrial Park. Parts of the Robertson and Verplanck neighborhoods. Center Springs Park. Tolland Turnpike. Broad Street. The Hockanum River and the H.R. Linear Trail. Depot Square. Proposed transportation improvements including the East of the River Busway, circulator buses and improved roadway access between I-84, Red Stone Road and the Shoppes at Buckland Hills.

There is an awful lot going on in Manchester's Northwest Quadrant.

At the Northwest Quadrant discovery workshop on Tuesday, June 29th, participants will have the opportunity to discuss current conditions in this area, what you would like to see the quadrant look like 10 years from now, how growth management principles apply here, and how they could in the future. The workshop begins at 7 PM at the 8th Utilities District Offices, 18 Main Street. For those who can't make it on Tuesday, we will also be holding open hours at the same location from 12-6 on July 7th. Don't miss this opportunity to participate in setting a vision for Manchester's future!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Planning Academy Video Now Available

Video of the Manchester 2020 Planning Academy is now available on our Planning Academy Materials page.

Friday, June 11, 2010

First Quadrant Meeting- June 29th 7 PM!

All members of the Manchester community are invited to attend the first Manchester 2020 Quadrant Discovery Workshop on Tuesday, June 29th at 7:00 p.m. The workshop will take place in the 8th Utilities District Offices at 18 Main Street, on the corner of Main and Hilliard Streets.

The Quadrant Discovery Workshops are the first step in the Manchester 2020 planning process. Each will include facilitated discussions on one area of town. Everyone in attendance will have the opportunity to participate and everyone's ideas will be heard.

During this first workshop we will be discussing the Northwest Quadrant. There is a lot going on in this area of town. From Buckland Hills to the Hockanum River, to Buckland Industrial Park to several residential neighborhoods, to Union Pond to Broad Street, to Wickham Park to Manchester Memorial Hospital. We are looking forward to a great discussion on current conditions in this quadrant and on what kind of place it might be in the future.

Everyone in the Manchester community is invited. While we would like to see residents who live in the Northwest Quadrant represented, these workshops are meant for everyone. For those unable to attend, we will also be holding open hours on Wednesday, July 7th from 12-6 p.m. at the same location.

It is not necessary to sign up in advance, but it would be appreciated. Call 860- 647-3044 or email anderson@ci.manchester.ct.us to RSVP.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

A Successful Start!

The Manchester 2020 Planning Academy held on Satruday at MCC was a great success! Seventy (70) members of the Manchester community came to hear about the latest in demographics, smart growth, sustainability and other hot planning topics. Those in attendance were treated to thought-provoking presentations given by some excellent presenters. What a great way to kick-off Pride in Manchester week and the Manchester 2020 planning process! For those unable to attend, no worries. The event was taped and will be available soon on Channel 16 and through this site. For now, you can check out the slideshow presentations, presenter bios and agenda here:
http://www.manchester2020plan.net/p/planning-academy-materials.html

Here are a few pictures from the event:























Thursday, June 3, 2010

Last Call for Planning Academy RSVPs

The long-awaited Planning Academy is almost here. We have a sizable group of community residents and members of Manchester's boards and commissions signed up to be there this Saturday at MCC. You can still RSVP by calling the Planning Department at 860-647-3044. All are welcome, even without an RSVP, but we want to make sure to have enough food for you. For those who are unable to attend, no worries, the Academy will be recorded and run on Channel 16 and through this site. No promises of food if you watch on TV or your computer, though...

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Planning Academy Session 4: Greening our Growth

How can Manchester and the region protect our critical natural resources as we grow? Our final session will examine how natural resource, open space and agricultural land protection fit into the sustainable development picture. We are fortunate to have Kip Kolesinskas, State Soil Scientist, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service presenting. Click HERE for the entire agenda.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Planning Academy Session 3: Sustainable and “Smart” Development

Sustainability is a commonly used term today, but what does it really mean at the regional and local levels? David Kooris, Vice President of the Regional Plan Association and John Guszkowski, Director of Planning for CME Associates, will offer answers to this question and examples of how sustainable development tools can reduce negative impacts on the natural environment, promote economic development and create more livable places. The entire agenda for the June 5th Planning Academy is available HERE. There is still time left to RSVP!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Planning Academy Session 2: The Housing, Transportation and Economic Development Connection

The way we approach housing, job location and transit will impact future economic development. This session will address these connections in light of the forces driving the Connecticut economy, and how Manchester can take advantage of them. Shelby Mertes, Chief Policy Analyst at the Partnership for Strong Communities and Robert Santy, President and CEO of the Connecticut Economic Resource Center will lead us through these important issues at the June 5th Planning Academy. Click HERE for the full agenda.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Planning Academy Session 1: Manchester Demographics in a Regional/State Context

Major demographic changes are expected in the region and the state in the coming years. What are these changes and what implications do they have for housing, workforce, education, community, healthcare and services? How can Manchester be prepared for these changes?
Orlando Rodriguez, Demographer, Senior Policy Fellow at Connecticut Voices for Children and former manager of the Connecticut State Data Center will address these issues at the Academy on June 5th. You can view the full agenda HERE.

Friday, May 14, 2010

June 5th Planning Academy- Confirmed Presenters

We have some excellent speakers lined up for the Manchester 2020 Planning Academy on June 5th. Our presenters include:
  • Orlando Rodriguez- Demographer and former head of the Connecticut Data Center
  • David Kooris- Vice President of the Regional Plan Association and head of the RPA's Connecticut Office
  • Shelby Mertes- Chief Policy Analyst for the Partnership for Strong Communities
  • Robert Santy- President and CEO of the Connecticut Economic Resource Center
  • John Guszkowski- Director of Planning at CME Associates
  • Kip Kolesinkas- State Soil Scientist, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service

There is still time to RSVP. Call the Planning Department at 860-647-3044 or email anderson@ci.manchester.ct.us to secure your spot!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Planning Academy Announced!

The Manchester 2020 Planning Process will be kicking off on Saturday, June 5th with the Manchester Planning Academy at Manchester Community College. The Academy will begin at 8:30 A.M. and we will finish up by 3:00 P.M. We are lining up some excellent speakers who will share information on the latest trends and developments in demographics, sustainability, smart growth, and the convergence of housing, transportation, and the economy. The idea is to give everyone who attends a background in these topics so that we can use this information throughout the rest of the planning process. In the quadrant and planning meetings that follow, we will explore how these ideas could be applied in Manchester.

All members of the Manchester community are invited to attend and breakfast and lunch will be provided. Please RSVP by either calling the Manchester Planning Department at 860-647-3044, or by sending an email with your name, address and phone number, and the the subject Planning Academy RSVP to anderson@ci.manchester.ct.us.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Opportunities to Participate

Over the coming months, Manchester residents will have several opportunities to participate in the Manchester 2020 planning process. Stay tuned for dates and times- but here is the general outline:

1. Planning Academy
Experts will share information on the latest trends and developments in topics like demographics, sustainability, smart growth, and the convergence of housing, transportation, and the economy. During the rest of the planning process we will explore how these ideas could be applied in Manchester.

2. Discovery Workshops
There will be at least two workshops in each quadrant of Manchester. At these workshops participants will work in small and large groups to examine each quadrant. Where do we currently meet the growth management principles? Where we can reasonably expect to meet them? What are the natural, cultural, historic and social assets? What opportunities or problems need to be addressed in the various neighborhoods and districts in each quadrant?

3. Planning Meetings
At the quadrant planning meetings that will follow the discovery workshops, we will begin to identify goals (what we want to accomplish) and objectives (how to reach our goals: what steps need to be taken and by whom). We will look for both Townwide and area specific goals and objectives that tie the quadrants, neighborhoods and economic districts together.

Please stay in the loop, get involved and tell your friends and networks. The plan's success depends on it!

Friday, April 30, 2010

Growth Management Principles

Instead of having separate groups work on individual sections (housing, open space, transportation, economic development, etc.) we will be organizing the Manchester 2020 plan around the State's Growth Management Principles. These principles weave all of the individual topics together and our hope is to get residents who care about any aspect of conservation and development in conversation about how these ideas relate to eachother, to different areas of Town, and to Manchester as a whole.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Spread the Word!

The State of Connecticut requires each city and town to create a plan for how it develops and conserves its land over the next 10 years. Good idea, right? Unfortunately, many of these plans end up on a shelf gathering dust. In Manchester, we are trying something new this year to get more people involved in the planning process so that this will be a real plan for Manchester's future- one that the community really believes in and one that will guide the Town's decisions about what Manchester will be in the year 2020. We are in the process of planning and preparing for a Planning Academy and a series of discovery workshops and planning meetings. More info. on when and where will be coming soon. For now, stay tuned to the blog, "like" our Facebook page and spread the word to your friends and networks!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Welcome!

Welcome to the Manchester 2020 Blog!

This is the place to keep up to date on all that is going on with Manchster 2020. We will be updating often with information on the planning process and how you can participate. For now, we encourage you to become a follower of this page, or to sign up for email updates.