Advice to cities: eight criteria on clear goals, accountability, scarce resources

The Saint ReportPlanning and Zoning, Property Development, Saint Consulting Links, saintblog, Urban planningLeave a Comment

With economic recession challenging America’s cities, it is worth revisiting a succinct outline of essential criteria for the use of scarce resources in a community.

patfoxPatrick Fox, president of Saint Consulting Group in Hingham, Massachusetts, made the presentation at an Urban Land Institute conference in 2006 on establishing accountability in planning for Springfield, Massachusetts. It applies to all cities.

With a single visual element – a slide listing eight criteria for the use of scarce resources, including both land and finances – Fox described a “struggle over the allocation of resources. …There has to be clear accountability, inclusivity, and consistent and reliable decision-making on the part of the city government.”

Fox continued, “The city needs to regain the trust of the business and residential community, and establish consistent guidelines for decision-making.”

The first question to ask in gauging where to allocate precious resources, Fox said, is does the proposed project strengthen the downtown? “We heard from a lot of people, when we did the interviews, that there was too much concentration on the downtown,” Fox said. “The downtown is the key part of the city,” he continued, “and the whole city cannot be healthy unless the downtown is healthy.”

For full ULI report of criteria, click here.

Patrick Fox is president of The Saint Consulting Group, email or call 781 749 7290.

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