Best Practice resources from Richard Layman

This is the second installment in our Best practices in Community Empowerment series.

Richard Layman, author of  Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space, is an urban/commercial district revitalization & transportation/mobility advocate and consultant, based in Washington, DC.

On the practice of hoarding/sharing best practices, Richard says: Most people think their communities are unique. Of course every place is unique. But for the most part, as systems, neighborhoods and cities operate similarly, regardless of location, although specifics vary depending on their place within their own metropolitan region, and whether or not the region is a strong or weak real estate market. By working with the ideas and best practices from other places, we can significantly reduce the time we need to improve our own places, and in turn we can contribute our learnings outward, to others in similar situations.

These are the Top 5 resources Richard recommends, and why:

Project for Public Spaces – PPS’s “How to Turn A Place Around” workshop and their “Place Game” (pdf) are great tools for improving the quality of life in communities, working from the ground up. Their monthly e-letter always has good articles.

Asset Based Community Development Institute – They publish a wide variety of workbooks (in print and online) about ground up community development that are focused on empowering people and harvesting social and organizational capital, not just money.

Community Economic Development Handbook by Mihalio Temali – Step by step guide to commercial district revitalization and local business development.

Smart Transportation Guidebook – Integrating land use and transportation planning is key to successful communities.  This guidebook provides a new framework for thinking about transportation (roads) in terms of land use context, whether the road serves the community or is important regionally, and roadside, roadway, and operating speed characteristics.

Bringing Buildings Back by Alan Mallach – This book focuses in a practical way on rebuilding value in neighborhoods and buildings, to counter disinvestment and abandonment.

This is a very short list of Richard’s favorite resources. He also sent me this link to a longer list he put together for a presentation he made last week for a workshop in Baltimore on placemaking and transit at the neighborhood level. Also check out all those links to great resources in his blog.

Next up: Diane Dyson

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