MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (Sept. 30, 2016) - The Town of Mount Pleasant received a 2016 South Carolina Chapter of the American Planning Association Outstanding Planning Project award at the SCAPA annual conference held Sept. 21-23, 2016, in Augusta, Georgia.
The Town was recognized for the innovative use of public outreach and engagement in planning practice which has improved the effectiveness and accuracy of planning efforts, according to the SCAPA press release.
“We are so excited to have been acknowledged in this way for our outreach efforts to the community,” said Christiane Farrell, the Town’s planning director. “The Town’s Planning and Development Department staff recognizes that planning, zoning, and building regulations are complex and difficult to understand. We established a broad Outreach program to provide opportunities to our citizens, businesses, and professional colleagues in order to reach all people within our community.”
Five awards were conveyed this year, with one in each of the following categories for a policy, plan, study, inventory, program, development project, implementation strategy, ordinance or other product.
SCAPA awards offer one of the few opportunities that South Carolina planners and communities have to highlight the virtues of planning, and recognize those who contribute to the profession.
With today's use of internet for communication, many residents and businesses do not have the opportunity to meet face to face with staff, and this outreach program cultivates relationships within the community, said the SCAPA.
Farrell said that those relationships help develop our communication, which directly affects the department’s success.
The Town recognized that professional relationships can be improved through more interaction outside of project reviews, and that more information sharing creates greater transparency and trust. To achieve of the goals of broadening communication, information sharing and engagement, the Department developed four main outreach initiatives: Annual Planning Department Meet and Greet, The Planning College, Code for Lunch series and an Annual Report, said the SCAPA.