Featured Engagement & Communications Projects
NP’s communications and engagement work ranges in across a variety of issues. The examples here highlight this aspect of several recent projects:
GrowSMART CT Regional Economic Strategy
NP served as the lead consultant for the GrowSMART Regional Economic Growth Strategy for the Lower Connecticut River Valley Council of Governments. The core of the plan focuses on how to understand current conditions and trends in relation to the people’s desired future in order to develop feasible strategies to move the region forward.
NP, in partnership with FHI and Community Workshop, used a variety of ways to inspire people to think differently about regional issues. Tools included creative marketing to make regional economic development more relevant to people's everyday lives as well as multi-layered maps to illustrate where potential future growth conflicts exist. The final plan focuses on a set of strategies get to the heart of the region’s biggest challenge – how to grow its economy while maintaining the high quality of life that is driven by the natural and recreational amenities of the region.
Essex Planning Governance
NP staff served as the lead consultant, in partnership with Confluence Associates, in an inclusive process that helped the Town of Essex and the Village of Essex Junction assess ways to improve their planning governance. Using a scenario planning approach, NP staff worked with a 25-member Working Group to develop recommendations related to planning and zoning board structures and community engagement.
A variety of engagement and communications tools were used in this effort including interactive community workshops, online surveys, focus groups, “meetings in a box”, scenario planning, monthly newsletters, educational primers, priority setting exercises and on-going process evaluation.
The Working Group reached consensus on a set of recommendations that were positively received by the local town Selectboard and village Trustees.
Power Plant Reuse Study
NP led a redevelopment study of the Mt. Tom Power Plant in Holyoke. MA. Working with the team of Utile, Noble, Wickersham & Heart,Tighe & Bond and the Consensus Building Institute NP developed a set of re-use options for the former coal burning power plant site.
As part of the community engagement effort, NP designed a series of “mobile workshops” that were located in key gathering community spaces. The bi-lingual displays aimed to educate community members about the project and gather input on what principles were important to guide redevelopment scenarios.
The project resulted in a set of design principles and information on reuse options, which local partners can use in working with site owners moving forward.