Cogan Owens Cogan, LLC is delighted to announce that Ellen Wyoming has been promoted to Associate as a full-time colleague with the firm beginning January 1, 2013. Ellen brings experience, creativity and passion for equity in urban and community planning, authentic community involvement with diverse groups of people, and culturally-appropriate organizing and facilitating. She is keenly focused on the intersection of planning and economic opportunity, and looks forward to continuing to increase her capacity as a planner in her work related to creating vibrant, sustainable, and healthy communities.
In her capacity as Associate, Ellen will be managing projects including a Tsunami preparedness guide for Oregon coastal communities. She also is working on research of trends over time that will affect estuaries along the Oregon coast. Both projects are for the Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development. She is assisting with the public involvement process for a voluntary annexation strategy for South Hillsboro and has been working with the Tulalip Tribes in Washington on a neighborhood and green infrastructure planning project. Most recently, she was project manager for the development of the Portland Mercado, an initiative of Hacienda Community Development Corporation for a new Latino-themed public market to serve more than three dozen new low-income Latino entrepreneurs.
Ellen was awarded the American Planning Association Award for Application of the Planning Process for her work on the Portland Mercado as a graduate student in Portland State University’s Master of Urban and Regional Planning program. She also was awarded the Oregon Chapter of the American Planning Association’s award for Student Achievement in Planning for the Portland Mercado project. She can be reached at 503-278-3462 or email@example.com
, Sustainable Communities
Cogan Owens Cogan and partners SERA Architects, Parametrix-Bellevue, Marketek, Inc., and Siegel Planning Services are honored to have been selected to assist the Tulalip Tribes in developing a neighborhood plan for Tribal growth and development in the Lower Quilceda Creek area.
The Tulalip Indian Tribes were awarded the Puget Sound Tribal Implementation Grant from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in order to develop planning, design and regulatory tools to protect the Quilceda Creek Watershed. Quilceda Creek, Ebey Slough and the associated watersheds are a centerpiece of Tulalip culture. This Plan strives to honor and enhance the natural and cultural resources of the Quilceda Creek area while providing for future social, economic and community benefit for the Tribes and Tribal members.
“It is a deep honor to have been awarded this project to work with the Tribes on this initiative,” said Kirstin Greene, manager of the consulting team. “It will be a tremendous learning experience and an opportunity to apply best practices that make sense for the Tribes.” COC is the prime consultant and project manager and will work closely with Tribal leadership to develop and help implement a cross-generational community engagement strategy. SERA Architects will develop the neighborhood plan and working in partnership with Siegel Planning Services on creating an innovative and sustainable visual form-based code. Parametrix is creating a green infrastructure plan and low impact development models while Marketek, Inc. will provide market analysis for the tribes in terms of identifying appropriate goals and objectives for housing, employment and other opportunities for future generations.
At COC, Kirstin will be assisted by Project Coordinator Ellen Wyoming, Associate Planner and Community Engagement Specialist. PSU graduate student Cary Watters, COC Community Engagement Intern and member of the Tlingit Tribe, also will provide guidance and support. Stay tuned for more on the community engagement strategy and youth engagement. In the meantime, check out the Hibulb Cultural Center, built by this sovereign nation and an incredible testimony to their past and future.
, form-based code
, green infrastructure
, neighborhood plan
, Sustainable Communities
Last Monday, April 23, COC Associate Planner and Community Engagement Specialist Ellen Wyoming took part in a call-in conference hosted by HUD about future sustainable communities grants. We were referred to investigate the sustainable communities clearinghouse best practices – which are modeled on an external website at sustainable cities institute.
From the link below you can select the criteria for the type of project you are looking at and then read about the best practices they have for each particular type of project. It’s quite comprehensive.
On Tuesday, April 24, HUD’s Director for Office of Sustainable Housing and Communities (OSHC), Shelley Poticha, hosted a Twitter Town Hall to discuss the impact of their Sustainable Community Grants program. COC Climate Economy graduate intern Derek Dauphin covered the event. Some key responses to the inbound Tweets follow.
How do sustainable communities benefit people?
(1) They save money by using less energy and water but also by bringing home and work closer together, reducing the costs of transportation, (2) Overall quality of life is better with people spending more time with their families and less time stuck in traffic, and (3) Better health from walking and living in a less polluted place.
How can sustainable communities result in more jobs?
Sustainable Community grant recipients are looking at what growth sectors they can attract and how. Memphis’s sustainability strategies have created 3,500 jobs locally and now the program is moving to the regional level. Austin has created a number of mixed-use developments that have been very successful in attracting businesses including Apple’s new campus. Businesses look for places where talented people want to be for more than 1-2 years. This means great schools, access to nature, neighborhoods that people want to live in and that provide easy access to work – all hallmarks of sustainable communities.
, Sustainable Communities
Kudos to Ecotrust for taking on an important topic – examining one of the major public policy goals we seem to have set for society – economic growth.
For many years, economic growth (Gross Domestic Product or GDP) has been the leading indicator of progress, and how we compare ourselves to others internationally. Yet, many are begininng to recognize that this is, at best, a crude proxy. In fact, it seems that too much economic prosperity (wealth) has diminishing, and even negative effects on one’s overall well-being.
Ecotrust and their affiliate organization, Economics for Equity and Environment hosted a summit discussion today on The Design of Alternate Metrics of Well-being To Inform Policy Making.
The lead speaker was Juliet Michaelson was from the London-based Centre for Well-being, a program of the New Economics Foundation, or NEF. In her words, the work of NEF is to bridge research and policy-making. They are focused on environmental sustainability, social justice, and well-being.
To jump to the end, Juliet shared that their work since 2005 has resulted in this summary Five Ways to Well-Being:
1) Connect (check out the site and their slides; much prettier)
2) Be active
3) Take notice
4) Keep learning
Note that these are disconnected from employment, unemployment, underemployment, average annual income and other indicators or metrics we are used to seeing, using, reproducing, trending….
I feel fortunate to have been able to attend this event. Juliet and Kristen generously agreed to share the PowerPoint presentations from the event so I was able to listen wrather than take mad notes. However, some other notes before too much time passes, and to share with my office:
- Under the Mayor’s direction, the City of Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability and the Mayor’s Office is wrestling with developing they key measures and metrics by which the new Portland Plan will be evaluated over time.
- Juliet acknowledged the challenge and result of normalization on a diverse community; City staff and I agreed that one one one dialog will be essential with people of very different backgrounds to check the level of shared, cross-cultural agreement on the indicators of well-being, or lack thereof.
- Thought leader in this subject Professor Helliwell at the University of British Columbia has summed up his decades of work as follows: “Close in trumps distant. Life is more local than people realize.” What does this imply for planning, for community? For our economic system, values and incentives?
- Reserachers at the NEF are honing in on “efficiency” relationships between the economic base of resource utilization, societal goals and human systems are a key indicator of greater well-being or happiness on individual and community scales. [Bob Wise was just emphasizing effeciency as a key challenge of our decade last staff meeting. Listen to Bob!]
- I wrestle with how people will respond to hearing that less consumption is better. I think of Renee Lertzman’s work on the subject of connecting with the environment, and recognizing the complexities of our emotional landscape in this regard.
- Check out the Happy Planet Index for more on that model, developed by NEF in 2005.
- Juliet also covered understanding well-being and the leading models. NEF integrates the basic two camps into a concept where well being emerges as a part of a system; and emerges when contributing systems thrive. “Flourishing” (functioning well and feeling good) is a concept that is widely used; nice term. Reseracher Martin Seligman summarizes flourishing as the state where there are: positive emotions, engagement, relationships, meaning, and a sense of accomplishment.
- Juliet recapped leading findings around the causes and benefits of positive emotions. I like the term “learned optimism” but am still skeptical (though an optimist!).
- She covered Well-Being’s “Journey to Prominence” in the UK in a nice historical recap. Incubated from cities and caught national attention that is culminated in in Prime Minister David Cameron’s administration’s Foresight Project commissioning the work that resulted in the Five Ways of Well-Being. When PM Cameron launched the effort in November, 2010, he said “We’ve got to recognize officially, that economic growth is a means to an end.” Interesting.
- Check out Mappiness, a research project at the London School of Economics.
Since it is late, just one closing thought. I am amused to recall our own Declaration of Independence which is based on the need to defend our right to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. Lots to think about.
For more information, contact Kristen Sheeran, PhD at www.e3netowork.org
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