Biddeford is an old mill city working to reinvent itself through a downtown master planning project, using the Heart & Soul Community Planning approach.
Biddeford's Heart & Soul Community Planning initiative is focused on creating a Downtown Master Plan for revitalization, which dovetails with its Main Street program and other redevelopment efforts.
Biddeford has engaged the dispersed communities within the City limits to identify common values and key planning issues, which will be incorporated into the Plan and guide future planning and development decisions. The Downtown Master Plan will cover a wide range of topics such as safety, streetscape design, infrastructure, business development, and guidelines for growth.
The non-profit Heart of Biddeford (HoB) coordinated the process, which included four phases:
Storytelling. HoB coordinated activities for the public, worked with the local high school and graduate students to record and produce multimedia stories from a diverse group of citizens. The innovative HeartSpots program included signs at important downtown locations, where residents could call a phone number and record a story
Values Identification. HoB led a process to identify core community values from the stories and through public meetings. They held community forum and story screening, at which residents helped identify 5 core community values.
Validation and prioritization. HoB held more than 30 neighborhood meetings and forums to validate the values and identify seven priority issues for the Downtown Master Plan.
Actions and implementaiton. Finally, HoB hosted a series of workshops to focus on each priority issue and identify action steps that can be included in a master plan.
Last Updated: April 26, 2012, 6:08 pm