COC recently assisted the City of Palm Springs to develop a Sustainability Master Plan, which is currently under review by the Resource Conservation Commission and the City Council. The plan, initiated by the Mayor and City Council, addresses sustainability from a comprehensive community perspective. It includes goals, actions and metrics for the following critical areas: city management, economic vitality, urban development and mobility, climate change, energy, ecosystems, waste and water. The team used multiple types of outreach to neighborhoods, school, businesses and other stakeholder groups as well as an online questionnaire. The Master Plan includes a working definition of sustainability for Palm Springs including a vision and guiding principles. It summarizes past and current sustainability initiatives, major trends and state policy, and elements of the City’s General Plan. To support development of the Master Plan and mobilize local organizations to address sustainability challenges, the Mayor formed a city-wide Leadership Council composed of government, academic, business, institutional and nonprofit organization leaders.Tags:California, Climate Change, Comprehensive Planning, Green Building, Smart Growth, Sustainability
A Year in the Life of Cogan Owens Cogan, LLC
Is the glass half empty or half full? At a time of great change in our country and here at home, we at Cogan Owens Cogan, LLC tend to be optimists, with a heavy dose of realism. We know 2009 is a tough year in which to be a small business, or any business, but we have faith in ourselves and our clients that we will emerge stronger and even more able to carry out our mission to engage people to create and sustain great communities.
Looking back at the year just past, we want to share with you a summary of the eclectic and enriching array of projects that have given us considerable satisfaction.
As Planner in Residence at Portland State University, Arnold Cogan is providing sage advice to graduate students in the School of Urban Studies and Planning. A highlight of his well-received monthly forums was a recent session with new PSU President, Wim Wiewel, whose professional background, we have been delighted to find, is planning. Arnold and former Governor Vic Atiyeh shared the platform when they were asked to testify at a recent state legislative hearing on the future of land use planning in Oregon.
Elaine Cogan also continues to be sought after as a speaker and trainer in communications and public engagement. She has accepted an invitation to present a three-hour seminar on the subject for the American Planning Association’s annual conference in Minneapolis in April.
Sustainability remains a core activity for us. Kirstin Greene wrote the lead article on climate change for the latest issue of the publication of the Oregon Chapter of the American Planning Association (OAPA).
Kirstin, Bob Wise and Ellie Fiore helped the Corvallis Sustainability Coalition and its 130 member organizations create a community-based sustainability action plan. Three town hall meetings drew more than 1,000 participants – residents, business owners, educators and public officials. The project is featured in the February edition of Planning magazine.
Kirstin also facilitated the development of Clackamas County’s first Sustainability Action Plan. She, Elaine and Steve Faust continue to work with citizens and staff under the County’s Complete Communities program to implement principles of sustainability. The sixth Complete Communities Congress will be held May 16. COC and the County have won several national awards for Complete Communities efforts.
Participants at an Urban Agriculture Forum in Damascus enjoyed stimulating discussion and food for thought. COC collaborated with the Urban Land Institute (ULI) and other partners in this effort and produced the executive summary.
Further south in the Willamette Valley, in Eugene, Kirstin, Arnold and Dave Mayfield developed the conditional use permit for the Oregon Arena, a new LEED-certified basketball facility on the University of Oregon campus. We worked with the project architect, developer, technical consultants and city staff to obtain approval for this 21,500 capacity arena.
Bob and Daniel Christensen conducted a detailed financial and feasibility analysis for a Green Economy Center in Clackamas County. In addition, COC and Clackamas County won recognition for the Green Economy Report – an action plan to maximize agricultural, natural resources and sustainability industries in Clackamas County.
For Washington County, Bob led a team to institutionalize a sustainability management organization. He, Kirstin and Teak Wall are leading an effort to help the City of Palm Springs, California, create a sustainability master plan to help guide their sustainable future.
Visioning – assisting communities to work together to realize their highest aspirations – is always challenging and exciting. Elaine and Daniel are midway through a process to help the small Willamette Valley community of Keizer look ahead to the year 2029. One recent notable activity was a Youth Forum at McNary High School where more than 30 teen leaders engaged in frank and open dialogue. Their insights and aspirations will be considered during community-wide visioning sessions.
Jim Owens traveled to Klamath Falls to facilitate several visioning meetings for the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. At issue were the best financial and physical solutions to restoring an asbestos-contaminated site in a subdivision just outside the city limits.
Mount Spokane and Chief Timothy State Parks in Washington also benefited from Jim’s environmental project management services. The Mount Spokane project entailed the first stage of master plan development, while Chief Timothy is another phase of the Confluence Project, the placement of artwork by Maya Lin in historical locations. In the latter, Dave and Daniel are working with Jim to develop all the necessary permits and approvals.
For the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT), Jim, Dave, Ellie and Steve conducted interviews with citizens and public officials in communities throughout the state to assess attitudes and support for public transit. The results will be reported to the State Legislature.
After nearly two and a half years and dozens of meetings, the Sellwood Community Task Force, whose work Elaine facilitated, has reached a reasoned and reasonable recommendation about the placement and size of a new Sellwood bridge. A panel of local and State decision makers praised the work of the citizens and affirmed their recommendations.
As busy as we are, each of us finds time to volunteer for community endeavors. We are active on the boards of the City Club of Portland, Urban Land Institute, Oregon Environmental Council, Oregon Chapter of the American Planning Association, Three Rivers Land Conservancy, and many more.
These are the highlights of our eventful year. For more, check our website, www.coganowens.com, recently updated by Crystal Jackson. Kudos also to Nancy Marshall, who makes all our graphical materials, including this newsletter, look so special, and to Erin Atkinson and Alisha Dishaw, who help us in more ways than we can mention.
We are eager to hear from you as we embark together on this exciting and challenging year. Please keep in touch.Agriculture, American Planning Association, California, Clackamas County, Climate Change, Economy, Environment, Green, Land Use Planning, Oregon, Parks, Planning, Portland State University, Sustainability, Transportation, Visioning, Washington, Washington County