The Values of the City

The City of Portland, Maine is a national leader in working waterfront planning and the City’s work has been featured by the National Working Waterfront Network.

In a recent interview with Bill Needelman, the City’s Waterfront Coordinator, Bill discussed the evolution of the City’s planning efforts. He focused on the importance of beginning with the expression and understanding of the community members’ values as well as the recognition and reflection these values in the planning tools and regulations that may result.

“…each community needs to find out what they care about and then draft the policies….That’s good planning but it’s also a step that is often overlooked. People want to get directly to solutions and you need to do the time and the work, the difficult work of understanding what a community values before you start to regulate it. The regulation will not be popular regardless, but if you’re regulating contrary to a community’s values it will fail.”

With this clear vision of the intrinsic connection between values and regulation, we expect Portland, Maine will continue to be a national model in waterfront planning