Jim Pashek and Denny Puko (from the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development) presented a new model for planning communities across the country. Their approach, the “Implementable Comprehensive Plan” focuses on outcomes, not the process alone and relies heavily on public involvement and matching planning recommendations to the capacity of the community. According to Puko, “history shows that plans with hundreds of recommendations simply don’t lead to positive change in our municipalities.”
Their new planning process includes five keys for an implementable plan:
- Focus the plan on relevant, real community issues
- Organize the plan the way local officials and citizens think
- Devise practical and workable recommendations
- Recruit partners and create capacity to implement the plan
- Get local ownership of the plan – commitment to implement it
The presentation was very well received with over 100 people attending the session at 7:30am on the last day of the conference. Thanks go to Bruce Betty, John Trant, and Allen Cohen for providing a western PA cheering section at the session in Chicago.