It’s Charrette Week: Heart of the master planning process

Apr 28 2013

Excuse me??!!! You haven’t yet imparted your wisdom to the Candler Park Master Plan?

No sweat. This week, we get our best opportunity to collaborate on this fresh vision for our community's future.
For three consecutive evenings (5 p.m. to 8 p.m., April 30-May 2), the Master Plan Charrette will be held at the Hall House on the Mary Lin Elementary campus. Then, on Saturday morning (9 a.m.-10:30 p.m., May 4), at the Frazer Center in Lake Claire, we’ll all gather to hear about and discuss the concepts that emerged from those evening workshops.
What, you ask, is a “charrette”? According to the font of all knowledge (Wikipedia), it’s “an intense period of design or planning activity” and “may refer to any collaborative session in which a group of designers drafts a solution to a design problem.”
In our case, all community members are welcome to join in the collaboration. At the work sessions, expect a series of illustrations, exercises and questions meant to flesh out ideas that residents proposed during last month’s Kickoff Meeting, on online Snapshot Exercises and in less formal discussions.
Many big questions are searching for answers: What park improvements, for example, are we united in favor of? How can we make our sidewalks, roads and intersections safer for pedestrians and cyclists? Could the MARTA station be made more inviting? Could we bring to frution many people's dream of a Candler Park farmers' market? Should the neighborhood favor specific design guidelines? Can DeKalb Avenue be re-imagined as a pedestrian friendly commercial street, and if so, how could we make that transition?
Those three afternoon/evening sessions at Mary Lin also provide people who drop by with an opportunity to discuss problems and solutions in more detail with the professionals hired to help us with the plan. And the sessions will be dynamic: Lead planner Aaron Fortner and his team plan to capture the concepts from each three-hour session, and to reflect them back to participants the next evening. The result: Evolving elements of what eventually will be honed into a Draft Master Plan.
But if you can only make one Master Plan meeting, Saturday morning’s Charrette Overview Community Forum is the one you don’t want to miss.
To steal a couple of sentences on the Overview Forum from the Master Plan website, our planners “will provide a deeper contextual narrative for each of the emerging concepts and will then facilitate a process for obtaining feedback from the community on each of the ideas and recommendations.” (To reserve free childcare for the Overview Forum, click here. For directions, to the Frazer Center in Lake Claire, click here.)


Does anyone know if we have neighbors that are hard of hearing? If so, I propose audible street crossings.