The Community is the Expert
The well respected planning organization The Project for Public Spaces warns that one of the bigest mistakes a community can make is excluding the public from the process of designing its waterfront.
Yet that is exactly what the Newburyport Redevelopment Authority did when it hired Union Studio and in 2012 presented a plan to build condos on the public waterfront.
And what happened?
The plan was put on hold. Despite an agressive and expensive marketing effort, the NRA was forced to back away from the proposal it created without public input.
And now the question is...has the lesson been learned? Will the city include the public as it moves forward to design the waterfront?
What does a city risk when it excludes the public from the process of designing its waterfront? It risks creating a plan no one wants.