InterCap Holdings Sponsors Initiative To Improve Public Participation For New Jersey Devel. Projects
Jaffe Communications, Inc.
PRINCETON – June 19, 2007 – InterCap Holdings (www.InterCapHoldings.com) is the sponsor of an initiative that will ultimately encourage municipalities to hire planners to hold specific public forums, known as "charrettes," as a critical planning step in development projects in New Jersey, company officials announced today.
InterCap Holdings is funding an initiative by the non-profit National Charrette Institute (NCI) of Portland, OR., to develop a standard Request for Proposals (RFP) template that establishes specific criteria for planners to follow when conducting charrettes in host communities.
"It is our sincere hope that municipalities across the state will use these charrette guidelines as part of their RFPs for development and redevelopment projects," said Steven E. Goldin, Chairman & CEO of InterCap Holdings in Princeton. "We believe it is critical that the public play a major role in any project proposed in New Jersey. Through the charrette process, there will be many opportunities for public participation to ensure responsible development and, ultimately, great design."
The charrette process requires the planner to research and engage all stakeholders in the development process. A multi-disciplinary team, comprising planners, architects, community affairs specialists and engineers, works with the community through each phase of the planning and design process. The charrette process is typically a five- to seven-day event.
The benefits of such a process are broader community input, a design more reflective of the host community's vision and ultimately a more successful project, said Goldin, who also serves as co-chairman of the New Jersey chapter of The Congress for the New Urbanism.
Bill Lennertz, NCI executive director, said local governments increasingly desire to conduct charrettes, but typically do not establish detailed guidelines in an RFP for how the planner should best undertake it.
"That is why InterCap Holdings has asked us to create this sample language for government to use as a resource," Lennertz said. "We will create very specific language to make it easier for the public sector to solicit these complex planning proposals that foster exemplary public involvement."
As no two communities are similar, Goldin said, the RFP language can be easily modified to fit specific criteria and conditions. InterCap Holdings expects the initiative to be completed by September.
NCI, founded in 2000, is a non-profit educational institution committed to teaching professionals the theory and practice of facilitating charrettes. More information is available at www.charretteinstitute.org.
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Posted June 18, 2007
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