We love that you read our blog and sometimes comment, but it would be even better to see you in person! Consider this a special invitation to our upcoming Central District Plan Public Meetings. We have sneak peak at the facilitation after the break.
So why should you come to a Central District public meeting? Your feedback makes the plan stronger. Not only because it helps refine the plan’s recommendations and priorities, but because the public’s support makes implementation of the plan more feasible.
Ok, so you get the whole civic engagement thing, but why come to a Central District meeting? Maybe you live in the Central District, but maybe you don’t. We still want to you come.The Central District is the region’s metropolitan center – the hub of employment, shopping, and cultural resources for the entire Philadelphia area. You may work here, you may wish you worked here. (How do we get more jobs downtown?) You go shopping on Walnut Street, dine on 13th, catch a movie at the Ritz, take your out-of-town friends to the Parkway. Center City is the picture postcard, the glamour shot during an Eagles game, and image that pops into people’s mind when they think of the City of Brotherly Love. So come to a meeting and help us plan Center City’s future!
We’re having two meetings, both with same content to enable as much community participation as possible without overcrowding. (It’s such a popular district!) So you only need to attend one. This is the second of three rounds of public meetings for the Central District Plan. At the first public meetings, we talked about existing conditions and got your feedback in an open house format.
Since the first round of meetings in June, the Planning Commission staff has been busy analyzing data, working with consultants on a retail study, compiling feedback from stakeholders and steering committee members, formulating big ideas and goals, and starting on draft recommendations and focus areas. So we have a lot to show you and we need your feedback.
So here’s your sneak peek at the meetings. When you arrive you’ll sit at a small table with other attendees and hear a short presentation by the project manger, Laura Spina. Laura will give an update on the plan and setup the interactive small group exercises that you’ll work on with the other people at your table. The small group exercises will be facilitated by Planning Commission staff and will help set priorities and answer policy questions.
The main bulk of the small group exercise will take about 45 minutes and you’ll use play money to help set project priorities. You may remember this exercise from the Citywide Vision meetings. (Where you spent all your money on a subway extension to the Northeast!) It’s a fun way to set plan priorities and demonstrate that with a limited budget you can’t have it all. Each of the three maps will have seven projects each with a price tag, but your table will only have half of the overall budget.
After your table is finished spending millions of dollars, we’ll have a lighting round. We originality thought about just having the lighting round be posted at the door when you left the meeting, but then we were worried about causing a log jam. So instead, everyone gets stickers (no need to come to consensus) and you’ll vote at your tables. With the stickers, you’ll vote on policy questions that cover such topics as parking, vacant land, open space, and tourism. Then your civic duty is complete and you can head home with a name tag and a warm fuzzy feeling that you’ve shaped the future of Philadelphia.
We look forward to seeing you next week!