Stories from the Street

APA Northern New England Chapter


Friday, September 8, 2017
1:30 p.m. - 3 p.m. EDT

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Portland, ME. Explore the approaches to public engagement that the City of Portland and non-profit partners have incorporated into several recent planning initiatives. Projects include Portland’s new comprehensive plan and redesign of Congress Square, among others, large and small, that are transforming the city.

Integral to the success and outcome of these projects has been abundant and varied methods of participatory planning and public engagement.

  Nashua, NH. The Nashua River played a vital role in the historical development of Nashua. As times changed, the community’s connection to the downtown riverfront has waxed and waned. As Main Street and our downtown community are beginning to flourish again, the community wants to reconnect Main Street and our riverfront.

The City’s recent Master Planning process had a short timeframe and limited funds to reconnect the community to the waterfront. Check out how Nashua used a combination of new affordable digital techniques; combined with boots on the ground, to get the public engaged in creating its new Downtown Riverfront Master Plan.

  Strafford, NH. The Strafford Regional Planning Commission aimed to go above and beyond traditional stakeholder outreach when they undertook a recent regional transportation planning project.  Integrating performance based planning principles into the project, SRPC staff uncovered under-appreciated intersections among transportation planning and other sectors.

Despite some obstacles and learning curves, the Partnering for Performance project has maintained engagement with stakeholders throughout various phases.  Flexibility and a willingness to ‘return to the drawing board’ have been key to success

  Bethel, VT. In 2016, the Town of Bethel came together to give a faded downtown block an extreme makeover – all in a weekend. The Bethel Revitalization Initiative hosted Vermont’s first Better Block project, putting a rural twist on this popular tactical urbanism technique.

More than 60 volunteers built parklets and pop-up shops, created a temporary bike lane and downtown bus stop, cleaned out vacant buildings and painted over graffiti. Hundreds came out to experience what a vibrant, accessible downtown could feel like and to weigh in on the changes they liked best.

In the months since Bethel Better Block, the BRI has been working on making the most popular ideas permanent, from public art to traffic calming.




Kara Wooldrik

Kara Wooldrik is the Executive Director of Portland Trails. Kara brings fifteen years of nonprofit management experience in the Conservation and Environmental Education fields. For 10 years Kara was the Education Director at Maine Audubon, overseeing all education initiatives of the state's largest Conservation and Education organization. Kara has ... Read More

Sean Dundon

Sean Dundon has over 25 years of technical and management experience in environmental and engineering due diligence, regulatory compliance auditing, and energy and sustainability consulting. Mr. Dundon co-founded the commercial real estate due diligence firm Blackstone Consulting LLC in 2001 and is responsible for management, business development, and strategic planning ... Read More

Nancy O'Connor

Nancy O’ Connor is a Communications & Engagement Assistant at Strafford Regional Planning Commission (SRPC). Her primary role at SRPC is outreach for a Federal Highways funded project implementing performance based planning into transportation planning processes. She is working with local communities in the region to better understand their transportation needs ... Read More

Sarah Marchant

Sarah Marchant, AICP joined the City of Nashua in June 2014 as the Director of Community Development. In this position, she is responsible for the budget and leadership of the Community Development Division which consists of six departments, including Building Safety, Code Enforcement, Planning and Zoning, Waterways, Transportation, Urban Programs ... Read More

Rebecca Sanborn Stone

Rebecca Sanborn Stone is a community planner, strategist, writer and speaker who is passionate about helping people create great communities. She is a Principal at the Vermont consulting firm Community Workshop, which specializes in bringing creative engagement, planning, placemaking, and effective communications to towns, cities and non-profit organizations across North ... Read More

Lisa Whited

Lisa Whited is Founder and Chief Transformation Officer of Workplace Transformation Facilitation. Lisa has an M.S. in Management + Organization from Antioch University and is an experienced and creative facilitator who is gifted at building high performing teams. Whited successfully includes stakeholders in the process of change and, as a ... Read More

Nell Donaldson

Nell Donaldson is a Senior Planner with the City of Portland, where she has worked for five years. Prior to joining the city, Nell worked for a regional planning agency and in the private sector. In each of her planning roles, she has worked on projects with significant public outreach ... Read More

Caitlin Cameron

Caitlin Cameron is the Urban Designer for the City of Portland since 2013. Current and recent projects and roles include the Congress Square Redesign, India Street Neighborhood Plan and Form-based Code, development design review, and staffing the Public Art Committee. Her previous experience is in architecture which she practiced in ... Read More

Christine Grimando

Christine Grimando, AICP, is a Senior Planner for the City of Portland’s Department of Planning & Urban Development. In Portland she has overseen land use code reforms for Portland’s residential neighborhoods, is the project manager for Portland’s new comprehensive plan, and is involved in the adaptive reuse of ... Read More

Contact Info

Lee Krohn,