At COC, we work with communities to plan, strengthen and fortify attributes that make each community unique. This can be as technically challenging as a new transportation corridor or as transformational as groundbreaking public-private ventures.
Although communities face many challenges, the spirit of resilience we see each day inspires us and gives us hope that working together we can, indeed, shape a better future for all.
The following stories illustrate some of the best practices in which we have been involved. Please let us hear from you – what is special, unique and groundbreaking in your community or others.
Kirstin Greene, AICP
Welcome New COC Associate, Ellen Wyoming
We are delighted that Ellen Wyoming, who recently received her masters degree in Urban and Regional Planning from Portland State University (PSU), has joined COC as an Assistant Planner and Community Engagement Specialist.
In addition to her planning skills, Ellen is fluent in Spanish. She is currently assisting Hacienda CDC on the Portland Mercado (Market) project with the development strategy for implementation and facilitating the work of the Development Committee. The Portland Mercado is a multi-cultural community economic development effort to create a marketplace for Latino foods, goods and services.
Chosen by her classmates to give the student address at PSU graduation ceremonies this spring, Ellen spoke eloquently on activism. Find a synopsis of her speech here. Ellen may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. She looks forward to broadening her cross-cultural practice with the COC community.
Three Small Communities Consider Their Unique Potentials
Weston, in eastern Oregon near Walla Walla and Pendleton, is a historic small town in a spectacular setting that faces several challenges from a changing regional economy. Bob Wise from COC and Allison Wildman of SERA Architects led a team that created plans to revitalize its main street and create safe routes to schools. Students in PSU’s Masters in Urban and Regional Planning (MURP) class chose Weston as a project. They created an exciting and realistic vision. See: http://www.planweston.com/index.html. It is now in the hands of local leaders to take the next steps to keep Weston one of Oregon’s most attractive small historic towns.
Wood Village, in East Multnomah County, is about one square mile in size. It is the gateway community to Mt. Hood and the Columbia Gorge and an oasis of affordability in the region. COC, with team members Kittelson & Associates (KAI), Marketek, and SERA Architects, worked with community leaders to develop ideas for a new main street and a Village Center, with zoning recommendations and links to an updated Transportation Systems Plan, or TSP. City leaders are working to reconcile their vision of a wooded village with market forces that suggest it is a prime location for a regional shopping center.
“[It was] a wonderful process and we simply cannot say thank you to you, and the consultants, ODOT … a sufficient number of times.”— Bill Peterson, City Administrator, City of Wood Village
Stevenson, a small community with nearly 1,500 residents, is a popular gateway to the Washington side of the Columbia Gorge – a destination for people attracted to its natural beauty, outdoor recreation and nearby resorts. The city is updating its comprehensive plan to chart a course for the next 20 years and deal with the many changes that have occurred since the plan was adopted in 1984.
Steve Faust and Elaine Cogan are helping a citizen-based Steering Committee engage the community to create a vision and cornerstone principles to serve as the foundation of the plan. On a warm summer night this past July, more than 80 community members participated in a workshop at Stevenson Elementary School to talk about their aspirations for the future of the city. The vision process is scheduled to conclude in October.
COC Participates in Green Sports Alliance Summit
COC was pleased to be a sponsor of the Green Sports Alliance Summit at the World Trade Center in Portland in early August. The Summit was a three-day executive summit conference that included case studies, lectures, panels, breakout groups, and site visits to introduce participants to a full range of green sports concepts and best practices. We profiled our work on the http://www.matthewknightarena.com/ in Eugene and our ongoing sustainability and public process expertise.
Martin Tull, creator and Executive Director of the Green Sports Alliance, is sharing office space at COC. In only six months, Martin has initiated partnerships with 45 professional teams throughout the country. The purpose of the Alliance is to demonstrate that sustainable practices can produce bottom line benefits and responsible corporate and community citizenship.
Complete Communities – Best Practices in Citizen Involvement
Rarely do consultants have the opportunity to work with communities over an extended period of time. COC has had that privilege in Clackamas County, where we have been helping build a county-wide community for more than 11 years. Beginning in 1999, we have worked with the Board of County Commissioners and hundreds of residents and businesspeople to define what a Complete Community means to them and find ways to get there. Our latest effort this past spring was to design and facilitate Community Congress VII on Best Practices in Citizen Involvement.
Meeting at Clackamas Community College, this Congress brought together citizens, elected officials, academics, business and community leaders to discuss the county’s best practices in citizen involvement and how their efforts may be improved. Participants acknowledged that the county’s unique hamlets, villages and community planning organizations are positive efforts and had many creative suggestions for improvements for engagement efforts. View the Summary report here.
We ❤ Lake Oswego!
Lake Oswego Unites Vision with Sustainability
Facing a need to update state land use requirements, the Lake Oswego City Council decided it needed to take an approach that would reflect the unique nature of Lake Oswego. The We Love Lake Oswego public engagement and planning process has engaged more than 1,600 residents and businesses to help identify a future vision for their city. COC helped design the process and is facilitating with an exceptional Citizen Advisory Committee (CAC).
After a year of work and intense community outreach, CAC members recommended a future growth scenario to the City Council on July 19 that integrates sustainability within an urban planning context. CAC members and staff were pleased that Lake Oswego’s Council endorsed this recommendation 7-0 in a strong affirmation of the committee’s work.
“For us, community does matter,” said Nancy Gronowski, Lake Oswego resident and Advisory Committee member. “The health and wellbeing of our residents, the physical appearance of the city, and its essential character depend on our planning efforts today.”
See a map of the preferred scenario on the Lake Oswego Website, or watch a video that describes the We Love Lake Oswego project.
Can Trucks and Pedestrians Coexist?
St. Johns is a well established residential neighborhood in North Portland. Unfortunately, several of its local streets also are preferred routes for trucks going to and from close by heavy industrial areas. The conflicts between these vehicles and adults and school children crossing busy residential streets has been studied and acknowledged for many years. The City of Portland, through the Bureau of Transportation, has allocated funds to evaluate the feasibility of redesigning certain streets and providing traffic calming and other methods to solve the most egregious problems.
COC, under a subcontract to the well respected engineering firm, T.Y. Lin International, is working with a committee of St. Johns community residents and trucking company representatives to advise the engineers on the alternatives most agreeable to all parties. According to facilitator Elaine Cogan, one of the many challenges to reaching an acceptable solution is how to engage a growing Latino community with their neighbors in addressing the issues. Ellen and Elaine are working to engage this important constituency.
Regional Approaches Address Columbia River Issues
Every year, approximately four million cubic yards of sand are dredged, from the mouth of the Columbia River by the Corps of Engineers to keep shipping channels open. COC Principal Jim Owens has been working with Oregon Solutions to develop a Regional Sediment Management Plan to increase the beneficial uses of this dredged material. The Plan consolidates work completed over the last decade into a long-term strategy which will be a basis for permitting a network of beneficial use sites and helping secure federal and state funds for ongoing research and monitoring.
In July, the Lower Columbia Solutions Group – a bi-state collaboration of public and private parties – approved the Plan and initiated its implementation. COC will continue to be involved in this model regional approach to addressing issues that affect communities and resources in Oregon and Washington. Click here for more information.
Highway Improvements in Diverse Communities
As part of an on-call services contract with the Western Federal Lands Highway Division of the Federal Highway Administration, COC is providing public involvement services for a number of highway improvement projects in Oregon. As a subconsultant to HDR, Inc., our work is to ensure that the communities within the vicinity of these projects are made aware of the nature and timing of the proposed improvements, have opportunities to be involved in the design, and are prepared for the impacts of construction, including travel delays and road closures.
These projects address rehabilitation or restoration of roads on or accessing federal lands, including the Crown Point Viaduct on the Historic Columbia River Highway within the boundaries of the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area; Skyliners Road west of the City of Bend; a number of roads in the Umatilla National Forest north of Elgin; and a portion of Tiller Trail Highway (State Highway 227) in the Umpqua National Forest north of Shady Cove. Click here for more information on these projects.
, citizen involvement
, Clackamas County
, Crown Point
, highway improvement projects
, Lake Oswego
, main street
, safe routes to schools
, sediment management plan
, Skyliners Road
, traffic calming
, Transportation Systems Plan
Managing Principal Transition
As the world restructures to engage the challenges of the 21st century, we at Cogan Owens Cogan (COC) are doing so as well.
As of July 1, I have the distinct privilege of succeeding Arnold Cogan as our Managing Principal. Everyone who has worked with Arnold knows his are enormous shoes to fill. Instead of trying to fill them, we have decided to walk together. Arnold, Elaine Cogan and Jim Owens will continue as full Principals.
We all are concerned with the many challenges we face locally and globally – climate change, energy, water, economy and biodiversity just to name a few.
These economic restructuring and threats to the global environment weigh heavily on the communities we work with. Recognizing that these issues are interrelated, COC collaborates with public and private leaders to develop strategies that leverage the economy, environment and community livability. Our strategies draw on the best in both the creative and scientific fields.
COC is mission-driven, focused on engaging people to create and sustain great communities. We are committed to utilizing best practices in community engagement and planning to help solve our emerging problems. With our more than 30 years experience providing top-level strategic advice and planning to communities throughout the west and Asia, we are passionate about stepping up to new, complex challenges and prepared to do so.
In spite of our global challenges, we are optimistic. We firmly believe the world is abundant in resources and human potential and look forward to continued opportunities to work with all of you on these pressing issues.
Please stay in touch.
EcoVision Development Taipei, Taiwan
Bob Wise, senior project manager at COC, traveled to a national conference in Taiwan to present the latest Oregon and Portland-area sustainability efforts. Bob is leading a consulting team drafting the Taipei 2050 EcoCity Vision, a long-range planning document for Taiwan’s largest city. He made his presentation about Oregon sustainability efforts at the Taiwan National Council for Sustainable Development’s annual conference.
“We’ve worked in Taiwan off and on for 10 years,” Bob said. “They’re always interested in what Portland and Oregon are doing as leaders in sustainable development.”
Look for an article on the Vision 2050 process and metrics in the fall issue of InterPlan, the International newsletter of the American Planning Association. He also will speak on this topic in the fall for The Natural Step.
Meier & Frank Building
We are delighted to receive word that the project to convert the iconic Meier & Frank building in downtown Portland to Macy’s department store and the boutique Nines Hotel has just received a 2009 National Preservation Honor Award from the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Serving with a team of architects and other professionals under the leadership of the Portland Development Commission, Elaine Cogan wrote the informational brochure, interviewed key stakeholders, and designed and facilitated public meetings.
Backcasting and Least Cost Planning
Senior project manager Dave Mayfield has led several discussions on the applications of backcasting and least cost planning as effective decision-making tools for transportation planning.
These related approaches are value-driven, focusing on achieving an agreed-upon outcome rather than responding to projected demands for services. As both of these processes can be “trend breakers,” they can help in times of rapid change. Used correctly, they can focus public and private efforts on identified goals such as meeting greenhouse gas emissions targets. Least cost planning is a guiding principle of the 2009 Jobs and Transportation Act and is expected to be utilized broadly in Oregon.
Dave’s commitment to sustainable mobility led him to give a series of presentations on this subject for the Oregon Transportation Research and Education Consortium, Oregon Department of Transportation, Portland Metro, the Oregon Metropolitan Planning Organization Consortium and the Coalition for a Livable Future.
Water Water Water
Principal Jim Owens continues his focus on intergovernmental relations and water. This spring, he brought together multiple diverse interests in science-policy workshops that identified new nearshore disposal sites along the southwest Washington coast for dredged material from the mouth of the Columbia River. He also continues to facilitate stakeholder involvement in Oregon’s efforts to achieve recovery for salmon and steelhead. This fall, he will lead COC’s public involvement efforts for a water reuse project in Corvallis.
Facilitation and Mediation
Arnold Cogan has just completed a two-year term as Planner-in-Residence at the Toulan School of Urban Studies and Planning at PSU. During that time, he assisted graduate planning students with career counseling and their projects. Arnold continues his facililtation and mediation work. He is a consultant to the City of Rainer to resolve a downtown redevelopment issue. For the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, he has been retained to lead efforts to review the wildlife, habitat and public use activities on the 11,000-acre Sauvie Island Wildlife area.
Healthy Communities Congress Success
Participants of Congress VI May 16th at Clackamas Community College made this an inspiring and successful event. In addition to elected officials, neighbors, business leaders and representatives of governmental agencies attended. The theme was Healthy Communities. Participants identified characteristics of a healthy community and innovations the County should consider to improve the health of communities in Clackamas County. See the County’s Web site for more information: (www.co.clackamas.or.us/community).
We recently promoted Ellie Fiore to senior planner, Daniel Christensen to associate, and Alisha Dishaw to administrative and public engagement assistant.
Ellie holds a master’s degree in urban and community planning from Portland State University and is on the boards of directors of the Oregon Chapter of the American Planning Association and Housing Land Advocates. Daniel received a master’s degree in urban and community planning from the University of Oregon. Alisha holds a degree in human development and family sciences from Oregon State University.
We have several recent projects that we would like to share with you if you haven’t already heard.
- Safe Routes to School Workshop for the City of Madras
- Grant Writing Support for the Oregon Department of Transportation – Governor Kulongoski’s Alternative Fuel Infrastructure Working Group
- Presentation Training for the Oregon Recreation and Park Association
- Community Coach for Highlands Neighborhood Association, Longview
- Clackamas County Economic Landscape Report
- Sauvie Island Draft Management Plan Public Meetings
- Training, City of Tigard City Center Advisory Committee
For more news, follow us on the web at www.coganowens.com or on Twitter: @coganowens.
Don’t miss out! If you didn’t receive our July eNewsletter in your inbox, contact us to add you to our e-mail list.
Tags:American Planning Association
, Clackamas County
, Land Use Planning
, Portland State University
, Public Involvement
Principal Kirstin Greene will be a panelist at the free Deliberative Democracy symposium in Portland at the White Stag Building on May 29.
A principal and one of the owners of Cogan Owens Cogan consulting firm, Kirstin has 17 years experience as a planner and public process facilitator. She has a bachelor’s degree in Political Science with a minor in Economics as well as masters degrees in Community and Regional Planning and Asian Studies from the University of Oregon. She is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) and is on the Board of the Oregon Chapter of the Urban Land Institute. She has served on the Board of the Oregon Chapter of the American Planning Association for legislative issues and the City Club of Portland for advocacy and awareness in civic affairs.
In her 14 years with Cogan Owens Cogan, Kirstin has helped facilitate public engagement and planning processes throughout Oregon including recently managing the conditional use permit for the new University of Oregon basketball arena. She was recognized as the PPPM’s first distinguished Young alumna and with three classmates established the annual Catalyst Scholarship award, helping support students in the department of PPPM make positive change in the world.
Kirstin will give a short update on her work for Clackamas County’s Complete Communities and Completing Connections process. Her recent work for the Corvallis Sustainability Coalition was profiled in the February 2009 edition of Planning magazine.
Completing Connections – Clackamas County, Oregon
Case study in community empowerment recognized as one of the top 50 Innovations in Government by the Ash Institute at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University in 2007. In late 1999, responding to a “crisis” in confidence, mistrust and dissatisfaction with County government, Clackamas County convened what started as a project and became what is now a ten year relationship between County elected officials and citizens – Complete Communities for Clackamas County. In the initial outreach, the overarching recommendation was to develop better ways for citizens to be involved in decisions that effect their lives. This recommendation led to establishment of two quasi-governmental organizational frameworks in Clackamas County – Hamlets and Villages. The Completing Connections hamlet and village program also was recognized with an award for excellence from the International Association of Public Participation in 2006.
Corvallis Sustainability Coalition – Corvallis, Oregon
Case study in grass roots organizational development and community-based action planning to respond to environmental crisis. The Corvallis Sustainability Coalition of more than 130 partner organizations used sustainability focused Natural Step principles to guide their work. The Sustainability Action Plan was finalized in December 2008 with the involvement of over 1,200 citizens. Implementation continues today.
Read more about this event below or download the flyer and registration form.
Building Public Will for Action on Critical Problems
What are the strategies and tactics for strengthening public discourse? How can deliberative processes be used as a vehicle for building public understanding of critical problems and develop commitment to long term policy solutions. These questions are being asked by state and local governments as well as non-profit organizations who are faced with broadly recognized problems that are difficult if not impossible to address through the current structure of policy debate and public discourse. This forum will share the findings from some of the leading applied researchers and practitioners with the goal of improving public discourse.
Date: Friday May 29, 2009, 1-5pm with hosted reception following
Location: White Stag Building, Portland
A Free event open to the Public: Registration required (2nd page of attachment)
Department of Planning, Public Policy and Management
School of Architecture and Allied Arts
University of Oregon
Ed Weeks, Emeritus Professor, Department of PPPM, University of Oregon
Matt Leighninger, Executive Director, Deliberative Democracy Consortium
Opening Remarks by UO President Frohnmayer
Priority Setting and Long-term versus Short-term Pressures
Kirstin Greene, Cogan Owens Cogan
Susan Brody, National Policy Consensus Center
Tony Mounts, City of Salem
Connie Ozawa, Portland State University
Adam Davis, Davis Hibbitts
Jeanne Lawson, Jeanne Lawson Associates
email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
541.346.3635 or 541.346.2526
ALSO! RECEPTION FOLLOWING THE SYMPOSIUM
Date: Friday May 29, 2009 5pm to 6:30pm
Location: White Stag Building, Portland (directions are on the flyer)
Open to all symposium attendees and alumni or friends of CSPA and PPPM
Attendance at symposium not required
, Public Involvement
NOTICE OF FORUM ON THE ROLE FOR PLANNING
IN THE FUTURE OF OREGON
MAY 22, 2009—DESIGNATING URBAN & RURAL RESERVES IN THE
PORTLAND METROPOLITAN REGION
ROOM 204, LEARNING CENTER WING OF THE URBAN CENTER BUILDING
10 TO 11:30 AM
Guest Speaker: John Williams, Land Use Planning Manager for Metro. John will discuss this complex project and the challenges and opportunities involved in long-range regional planning.
Today the Metro region is at a defining moment in which important long term decisions will determine the shape and size of cities, towns and rural landscapes for years to come. Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington counties and Metro are leading an innovative regional process to identify land for future urban development and protect farms, forests and natural areas for the next half century. Urban reserves will be designated by Metro on lands currently outside the urban growth boundary that are suitable for accommodating urban development over the next 40 to 50 years. Rural reserves will be designated by each county on lands outside the current urban growth boundary that are high value working farms and forests or have important natural features like rivers, wetlands, buttes and floodplains. These areas will be protected from urbanization for the next 40 to 50 years.
To learn more, this website link is available: www.oregonmetro.gov/reserves
The forum is moderated by Arnold Cogan, FAICP, Planner-in-Residence in the Nohad A. Toulan School of Urban Studies and Planning.
This forum will be webcast live and archived for future viewing. As in past forums, the event will stimulate spirited conversation, focus our expectations on the role of planning in the future and provide students, faculty and others with new insights.
For more information, please contact Arnold Cogan at: 503-225-0192 or at email@example.com.
, Land Use Planning
, Multnomah County
, Portland State University
, Washington County