Algiers Village Explores Living Community Challenge Master Planning

On Wednesday, August 16th , four community non-profit organizations based in Guilford hosted a community meeting at the Guilford Community Church to start a dialogue about what people envision for the future of Algiers Village. Those organizations are the Friends of Algiers Village, Community Collaborative for Guilford, Guilford Preservation, Inc, and the Guilford Community Church; and they have taken on the role of proactively planning the Village.

The four community organizations had applied to the Windham Regional Commission, in partnership with Building Green, to have technical assistance in pursuing a visioning study to determine whether or not the Village would like to take on the Living Community Challenge (LCC). The LCC is a set of criteria that serves as a framework for community planning and organization, and was developed by the International Living Future Institute. The criteria addresses community-scale sustainability through focusing on a sense of place within the environment, water resources, net-zero energy, human health and happiness, building resources, equity and beauty within the community.

Residents and community members who showed up to the planning meeting were asked to be a part of five groups, and were given maps of Algiers Village. They were all began the planning exercise by marking down aspects about their community that they liked and disliked, in an effort to gain local insights into the more subtle aspects of their community and the physical space. Then, residents marked down things they'd like to see in the Village in the future. Some of the ideas discussed were a small business incubator space, conservation areas, pedestrian safety infrastructure, gathering areas by Broad Brook, and play spaces, among many others. Also up for discussion was the role of community services in the Village, and where they could be located.

Using the information gleaned during this community meeting, the partnering organizations will dive in deeper to the requirements of the LCC over the upcoming months, and along with the WRC will begin to develop schematic design alternatives for Algiers Village. Based on the turnout of this community meeting, the partners agree that there is strong community interest in this LCC vision plan, and will host more community meetings in the future.

For more information contact Emily Davis or Susan McMahon at WRC.

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