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Section 1. Developing a Plan for Assessing Local Needs and Resources

Example 1: Road to the Community Plan

In the summer of 2013, the Macalester-Groveland Community Council (MGCC) initiated their Community Plan process. Their primary goal was to effectively engage the community and accurately reflect their interests in the plan. The leaders of the Community Council recognized that they needed to be strategic about their engagement and provide opportunities for underrepresented groups to be engaged.

Additionally, the City of Saint Paul was interested in assisting district councils to understand the elements of the plan, to make the review and approval process more efficient, and to derive a plan that the community can use to steward future development.

Thus, this project is a collaboration between MGCC and the City of Saint Paul to create a road map that illustrates key steps as a guide for communities to reference as they embark on their community plan process.

The information on the ‘Road Map’ and this ‘Companion Guide’ is a result of research conducted through a literature review of community planning best practices and plan elements, focus group interviews of district council staff, individual interviews of community organizations and personal observations of MGCC leadership meetings. This Companion Guide also includes documentation of the aforementioned process and will be of particular interest to district councils and community members seeking additional information.

This document is intended to offer best practices and insights to guide the conversation between district councils and their respective communities as they develop their own unique approaches to the community plan. Users are encouraged to interpret and utilize these tools as they see fit.

Author: Andrew Tran

Sponsor: Conducted on behalf of Macalester-Groveland Community Council and the City of Saint Paul Supported by the Kris Nelson Community-Based Research Program, a program of the Center for Urban and Regional Affairs (CURA) at the University of Minnesota.