WEST CHESTER, PA — In recognition of October as National Community Planning Month, the Chester County Commissioners have issued a formal proclamation noting the county’s many regional and local planning initiatives, both before and during the COVID-19 outbreak.
“Change is constant and affects all municipalities in Chester County, and community planning can help manage this change in a way that provides better choices for how people work and live,” the Commissioners’ proclamation states.
“Community planning provides an opportunity for all residents to be meaningfully involved in making choices that determine the future of their community,” it continues.
In order to assist in this current issue, it also states, “Chester County is implementing Landscapes3 [the county’s comprehensive plan] by encouraging appropriate economic development and resiliency, preserving open space, supporting urban center infrastructure and affordable housing, expanding trails, providing planning guidance, advocating for expanded public transportation and roads, collaborating with municipalities and other key partners, and pursuing a variety of initiatives.”
This year’s national theme – planning is essential to recovery – highlights how planning can lead communities to equitable, resilient, and long-lasting recovery from the effects of COVID-19, which has been evident in a number of ways throughout Chester County.
Some recent planning initiatives that have resulted from the current pandemic include the new Restore Chester County website which provides resources and updates for residents and businesses regarding reopening procedures and guidelines, the 2020 Town Tours and Village Walks program’s “Virtual Summer Series,” and the Chester County Economy Report which provides data and information to help guide an Economic Recovery Plan for the county.
“The Planning Commission’s economic data, transportation advocacy, urban revitalization efforts, and municipal planning support will help the economic recovery of our communities, businesses, and residents,” stated Brian O’Leary, the Planning Commission’s Executive Director.
The Planning Commission is also hosting a number of virtual public events and meetings this fall, including the 2020 Urban Centers Forum: R&R – Restoration and Recovery on October 13 and October 15 from 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm; the 2020 Fall Planners Forum on October 28 from 8 am – 10 am; and the A+ Homes Forum on November 17 and 19 from 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm. All events will take place via Zoom and are free to attend (but require registration).
National Community Planning Month has been celebrated across the country for the last 14 years, but is now more important than ever.
There are more than 10,000 individuals that serve on municipal planning commissions across the state of Pennsylvania. Many of them work with public and private sector professional planners to enhance the quality of life and well-being within our communities by taking a comprehensive approach.
“The celebration of National Community Planning Month provides the opportunity to publicly recognize the dedication of the members of planning commissions and other citizen planners who have contributed their time and expertise to the improvement of Chester County,” the proclamation also notes.
National Planning Month is an initiative through the American Planning Association. Their website says, “From economic development and transportation planning to reinventing what our communities look like post-COVID-19, this October share how planning and planners are leading the way forward for all in your community.”
To learn more about National Community Planning Month, visit www.planning.org/ncpm/.
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