Planning with People: Engaging the Community in Preservation Planning


Is community engagement part of your planning process? From proposing a new historic district to developing design guidelines or creating a preservation plan, community engagement is key to successful preservation projects. Producing a relevant, meaningful, and achievable project requires input from the people it affects, aligning the project goals with the goals of the community. Beginning with an overview of best practices for engagement (in person and virtual), this session will then look at examples of planning and outreach efforts from across the country and techniques being used to get people into the planning process. We’ll get a snapshot of the Munjoy Hill Historic District, Portland, Maine’s 12th historic district, and the dramatic highs and lows, challenges and lessons learned in that three year process. We’ll also hear how Colorado Main Street learned what residents’ value in their historic downtowns statewide, view the results in an interactive map, and learn how the process will be improved and the data elaborated upon in the future. And finally, we’ll look at community input in Denver’s design guideline update process. The session will be interactive with the presenters demonstrating a web-based audience response software throughout the session, capturing attendee feedback through multiple-choice questions, word clouds, and open narrative. Responses will appear in animated graphics embedded in the presentation and will update live to involve everyone in the discussion. We’ll show how web-based audience response polls can make the engagement process easier (and maybe even fun).

CE Credits:
Jul 15, 2022 8:30 AM

Sarah Hansen

Sarah Hansen is the Executive Director of Greater Portland Landmarks. Prior to her work with Landmarks, Sarah served as Director of Preservation Services at Maine Preservation. Sarah discovered her love of community revitalization as a history major at Connecticut College and received a M.A. in Preservation Studies from Boston University. After working with Boston Main Streets, she worked for the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s regional office in Denver covering South Dakota, Wyoming and Montana. She also worked for Colorado Preservation, Inc. and with the Architectural Heritage Foundation in Boston, a nonprofit historic tax credit developer. After five years as Coordinator of the Washington State Main Street Program, she worked for the Arkansas Community Foundation as Statewide Outreach Director.

Traci Stoffel

Traci Stoffel is the Main Street Specialist at the Colorado Department of Local Affairs Division of Local Government. Prior to her current role providing technical assistance and support to Colorado’s Main Street communities, she spent 13 years working for the Colorado Municipal League, providing information and services to the state’s cities and towns on a wide range of topics, including public engagement and historic preservation. Her experience also includes several years with Colorado Preservation, Inc., providing support to its members.


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