This is a community participatory process-training program. Extension specialists work with the community to enable residents to take charge and make decisions about their own communities. This in turn leads to enhanced community sustainability and improved environmental stewardship in both residential and commercial sections of the community.
All of the community stakeholders can participate in the planning process. This will enable citizens of the community to play a meaningful part in determining the quality and character of their community and contribute towards community sustainability. In addition, this program provides the opportunity for Regional Extension specialists to learn more about participatory planning process and enable them to facilitate this process in communities in their regions.
The educational objectives of this program fall into two categories: Environmental sustainability/affordability and community revitalization. The Environmental sustainability portion covers information on green architecture, regionally appropriate design and ecologically sustainable design. The community revitalization section involves participatory processes. During this phase of the program extension specialists, homeowners, neighborhood and community leaders develop partnerships to facilitate community design and planning processes learned during phase one. These methods allow people to take care of their environments and have some measure of control over their own lives leading to opportunities to foster sense of community.
Community participants will have the resource materials, skills and experience necessary to plan and execute a sustainable community planning process from conception, diagnosis, through implementation. Extension personnel will be able to facilitate the sustainable revitalization community assessment process in communities in their respective regions using these resource materials and processes.
Ronn Phillips, Environmental Design
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HES Extension Site Administrator