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What is "community planning"?

Updated: May 23

Community planning welcomes everyone to participate in the land use decisions, projects, and programs that shape where they live. The "planning process helps communities define their goals and a path to achieving them.” 

Inclusive community engagement strategies– that meet the needs of community members– are necessary for equitable involvement and key to community planning. Conventional planning can fall short of achieving equity when the group of planners is limited to a small circle, focused on building. Community members and partner organizations can balance development decisions with lived experience, subject matter expertise and attention to shared values.

By considering social, environmental and economic interests on a large scale, community planning seeks to maintain and augment the qualities that a community cherishes about its place. “Planning helps create communities of lasting value,” writes the American Planning Association. “While architects often focus on a single building, a planner's job is to work with residents and elected officials to guide the layout of an entire community or region. Planners take a broad view and look at how the pieces of a community— e.g., buildings, roads, and parks— fit together like pieces of a puzzle.” 

Locally, Blaine County and its cities have internal planning departments. Government agencies with statewide and regional purviews, also have planners working to shape the look, feel and function of our community. Now, the Wood River Land Trust is entering the space– to plan for conservation across Blaine County. 


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