News Release: June 9, 2016
Belize City Volunteer Planning Team to Work in Yarborough June 13–18
CHICAGO — All five members of the American Planning Association’s (APA) volunteer Community Planning Assistance Team is heading to Central America to provide community planning assistance to the Yarborough neighborhood of Belize City, Belize, June 13–18, 2016.
This is the first Community Planning Assistance Team to assist a community outside of the U.S. This event is possible thanks to the support of Belize City Council (BCC) and the Inter-American Development Bank’s Emerging and Sustainable Cities Initiative (ESCI).
The team is part of APA’s professional institute’s Community Planning Assistance Teams program. The program matches communities that have no planning staff or need additional planning assistance with planning experts from around the U.S. Teams have previously assisted with advancing community planning goals, economic development, transportation, and post-disaster recovery.
During the weeklong trip, the team will provide recommendations for leveraging economic opportunities, enhancing sustainability of the waterfront and highlighting the unique Caribbean charm of the Yarborough neighborhood. The team will look to enhance the connection between the cruise port and city center and focus on developing strategic recommendations identified in the Belize City 2012 Master Plan.
Team leader Justin Garrett Moore, AICP, visited Yarborough in February. During that trip, he met with local and national officials, community groups, residents, and stakeholders to help refine the areas of concern to be addressed by the full team. Moore is an urban designer and the executive director of the New York City Public Design Commission. The Yarborough team members include:
- Antoine Bryant, Assoc. AIA, principal of Bryant Design Group, LLC and a commissioner on the City of Houston Planning Commission;
- Veronica O. Davis, PE, co-owner and Principal Planning Manager at Nspiregreen LLC. She is a registered professional engineer in four states and the District of Columbia;
- Adam Perkins, AICP, Urban Planning Manager for the Downtown Denver Partnership; and
- Shannon Van Zandt, PhD, AICP, associate professor of Landscape Architecture & Urban Planning at Texas A&M University.
Throughout the week, the team will be meeting with community leaders, stakeholders, government officials and the public as well as touring the neighborhood. Community members are invited to share their thoughts about Yarborough during the public meeting on Wednesday, June 15.
Following the team’s on-site work, the team will prepare a report of recommendations for the city. The recommendations will take into account capacity, community needs and desires, and existing infrastructure.
Communities seeking planning-related assistance can submit a proposal. The Community Planning Assistance Team program was established in 1995 to help serve communities with limited planning resources. Previous teams have recently worked in North Beach, Maryland; Spanish Fork, Utah; Shreveport, Louisiana; and Deerfield Beach, Florida; among other locations.
The American Planning Association is an independent, not-for-profit educational organization that provides leadership in the development of vital communities. APA and its professional institute, the American Institute of Certified Planners, are dedicated to advancing the art, science and profession of good planning — physical, economic, and social — so as to create communities that offer better choices for where and how people work and live. APA has offices in Washington, D.C., and Chicago, with almost 38,000 members worldwide in nearly 100 countries. For more information, visit www.planning.org.
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Marilyn Ordonez, Belize City Council, 501-227-7205 ext. 232
Roberta Rewers, APA, 312-786-6395; email@example.com