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A Guide for Bringing your Community Character to life

Full resource: Heart & Soul - Enhancing Local Character Implementation Guide                   

Date published: 2011
Source: Orton Family Foundation
Author: Orton Family Foundation

Summary: The local character of a community shows how a community or neighborhood looks and feels. Character is usually the first thing that visitors notice in a community, and of the first things that residents of that community embrace. The character of a community can inspire civic pride as well as economic vitality. A number of tools can be used to manage change and encourage development that ‘fits in’. It is important that communities make an effort to understand the ingredients of local character - is it about the buildings, the landscapes, the streets, or all of these?

The guide describes a range of goals which can help communities develop their local character: Understanding the Character of the Community, Maintain Important Landscapes, Reinforce the Character of Existing Neighborhoods, Enhance Commercial Districts and Public Places, Build Great Neighborhoods, and Make a Good First Impression. Each goal is accompanied by a range of actions and related resources which can help to achieve it.

This easy-to-understand guide has been published through the Orton Family Foundation’s Heart & Soul community planning program, an approach that engages citizens in land use planning as a pathway to vibrant, enduring communities.

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