Strategies and Ideas, Guided By Public Input, To Be Displayed At First Friday
BINGHAMTON, NY– Today, city officials announce that over the last five months, more than 4,000 city residents have been engaged through Blueprint Binghamton and provided critical feedback and thoughtful input into the city’s future. The successful citizen participation campaign provides city planners a wealth of information to help guide Blueprint Binghamton, the city’s first major update to its Comprehensive Plan in more than ten years.
“We are absolutely thrilled with the enthusiasm and insight we received from the community,” said Tarik Abdelazim,
the city’s Director of Planning, Housing and Community Development. “What’s amazing is that whether we were talking to young or old, poor or rich, liberal or conservative, some common themes emerged that we’ll be sharing over the next couple months. And as we continue this open dialogue through the fall, I’m confident we’ll end up with a shared vision for Binghamton’s future that reflects the wishes and hopes of all residents.”
Whereas many communities host one or two public meetings as part of their ‘participation plan,’ the city’s Planning Department committed to a very inclusive and diverse citizen participation phase the first five months, which included some of the following:
Monthly Open Houses at the Dedicated Blueprint Binghamton Studio (49 Court Street) during First Fridays
In-class presentations to city youth at Horace Mann, Teddy Roosevelt, and Binghamton High School, which resulted in an exhibit in City Hall last month of more than 100 essays and art depictions from fourth-grade (?) students about current conditions and their ideal neighborhood
Workshops with seniors at the First Ward Senior Center, Binghamton Housing Authority, and other senior community events
Tabling at ethnic and minority festivals and events
With the help of Binghamton University’s Binghamton Neighborhood Project, conducting nearly 500 door-to-door surveys in neighborhoods that were not well represented at other community events
More than 75 one-on-one interviews and roundtable discussions with key community stakeholders and groups respectively
Hosting Blueprint Binghamton Community Discussions, a free educational series on key themes and strategies for community revitalization (after a short summer break, the series will restart Thursday, September 5th, with “Historic Preservation and Adaptive Re-use”)
Blueprint Binghamton is funded by a nearly $500,000 grant the city secured in October 2011 from the federal Partnership for Sustainable Communities, which is comprised of three federal agencies: Housing and Urban Development, Environmental Protection Agency, and Department of Transportation.
Binghamton is only one of 90 local municipalities across the nation to receive this very competitive federal grant award, and has earned preferential status for certain federal funds because of its commitment, under Mayor Ryan, to building a more sustainable and livable community. To learn more about how local organizations or businesses can take advantage of the city’s Preferred Sustainability Status when applying to federal funds, please see visit the city’s website.