Below is a description that
will help to understand the approach and process associated with the
Lewisville Charrette and Open House, May 11-15, 2009.
Key stakeholder and community buy-in will be one of the most important
elements to the success of the Old Town Plaza, Mill Street Urban Design
and Streetscape Improvements, and the Old Town Transit Oriented Development
Master Plan. Community and key stakeholder buy-in needs to start at
the beginning of the project and become an integral part of the design
process. We have led numerous public processes for capital improvement
and urban design/planning projects that have created a successful outcome.
Our proposed charrette process for Lewisville, which is described below,
will develop consensus among all parties involved, and help to build
social capital around the projects.
Charrette Stakeholder Process
We realize that to implement a plaza, a transit oriented development,
and the streetscape corridor improvements will require partnerships
with the community, property owners, businesses, City of Lewisville,
and other appropriate governmental services/agencies and utility companies.
We have developed a process that will create a successful outcome and
deliverables, while gaining valuable input and consensus among the public
and stakeholder interest groups.
Rather than reviewing concepts developed by a consultant team at one
or several large public meetings that can be easily dominated by one
individual or faction, or conducting a conventional design process that
offers inadequate opportunity for public input, our charrette process
allows for public and stakeholder groups to be involved over the proposed
four day event, followed by an open house at the conclusion of the charrette.
Stakeholder meetings will concurrently occur with each like-minded interest
group (i.e. Businesses north of Main Street; Parks Dept; DCTA; Mill
Street business owners) allowing for meetings to be conducted in a constructive
and nonconfrontational atmosphere.
Each stakeholder meeting will be approximately 75 minutes and facilitated
by Rebecca Leonard, Principal in Charge and Certified Facilitator from
the National Charrette Institute. At the beginning of each stakeholder
meeting, Rebecca will lead a 10-minute presentation describing the projects
and identifying “national best practices” for TOD, plazas and streetscapes.
The purpose of the presentation is to familiarize the stakeholder group
with the project, identify the process and rules for the 75-minute work
session, and to help the group generate discussion points. After the
presentation, Rebecca will lead an intense discussion that focuses on
the issues of that particular stakeholder group. For example, during
the meeting with businesses on the north side of Main Street, the conversation
will most likely focus on their needs for the back of their buildings,
how they receive deliveries/service, and how this project can give them
a competitive advantage. Discussions about Mill Street or passenger
rail service may not be discussed if it does not directly affect the
stakeholder group. Simultaneously, while these meetings are occurring,
the Design Workshop team will be developing design and planning concepts
that are tested against one another.
Charrette Week Overview
Over the first four days of the charrette, ideas will develop that offer
balance between the needs of all interest groups and begin to build
consensus. Design concepts will be tested against other proposed alternatives
for consideration. All design and planning concepts developed at the
charrette will be communicated through plans, sections, details, sketches,
and elevations, as appropriate. The design and planning concepts will
- Signage and wayfinding;
- Transportation and circulation;
- Land use and lotting;
- Building form;
- Plaza amenities and spaces;
- Park and open space;
- Street Configuration;
- Redevelopment concepts;
A report summarizing the findings of the workshops will be completed
at the conclusion of the charrette. Our team of facilitators, landscape
architects, planners, transportation planners, urban designers, environmental
graphic designers (wayfinding and signage), and engineers
will be involved during the charrette process for quality assurance
purposes and to ensure all applicable areas of planning and design are
considered for each of the three projects.
Concluding the Charrette
At the end of the four-day charrette process, we will present the findings
of all the key stakeholder meetings, site inventory and analysis, and
drawings created at the charrette.
The open house will allow key stakeholders and citizens to review a
variety of alternatives and elements of the three projects created during
the charrette. We will have project staff representing the different
preliminary components mentioned above, while taking additional comment
and explaining different concepts. This allows the community one more
chance to bring forth comments and ideas before moving forward with
the design process. The open house will conclude with a dot voting exercise
that will allow the community and key stakeholders to place value on
what issues they see as most critical for each project.