From the Director, June 2018 - What's the Big Idea?

Chris CampanyIn my last article I explained that we are beginning the update of the Windham Regional Plan. We'd like to hear from you about what ideas - big and small - the Commission should consider as it plans for the region's future. We'd also like to hear ideas about engaging with a broader cross-section of those who live and work within the region. We particularly want to engage with youth. What is their vision for life and living in the Windham Region in 2040? What would it take for that vision to be realized?

Here are some ideas I'm pondering.

What would be the influence of commuter rail service to the region within 10 years? Sound far-fetched? Our counterpart just to our south, the Franklin Regional Council of Governments, is advocating for commuter service to Greenfield, and the Massachusetts Governor just announced a three year pilot of two additional round-trips to Greenfield from Springfield, Massachusetts beginning next year. 

How do we plan for, and build, housing to meet the needs of current and future residents? How do we provide diverse housing options to allow aging residents and families to down size, and growing families to up size? How do we tackle the issues of affordability, cost of construction, livability of existing housing stock, proximity to jobs and services, and return on owner investment? 

How should we plan for storms of the future, especially rain events? Throughout the nation and the world extreme precipitation events are becoming more frequent. We have traditionally planned around "100-year" flood events. How should we think about the prospect of larger and more frequent floods, and the relationship between our rivers and streams and our settlement patterns? 

How do we best implement the new regional energy plan? What partnerships can we form at the regional level to move us forward towards energy conservation, switching to renewable fuel sources, development of renewable energy generation, and spending our fuel dollars locally rather than sending them far beyond our region? 

How do we sustain our villages? How do we help these settlements that were largely built in the early 1800s adapt to demands of modern life, including drinking water and wastewater requirements? How do we ensure that these cultural and economic centers of southeastern Vermont life remain viable and vibrant? 

What's on your mind? What are your ideas? What questions should we be asking? We'd like to know.

In my last article I explained that we are beginning the update of the Windham Regional Plan. We'd like to hear from you about what ideas - big and small - the Commission should consider as it plans for the region's future. We'd also like to hear ideas about engaging with a broader cross-section of those who live and work within the region. We particularly want to engage with youth. What is their vision for life and living in the Windham Region in 2040? What would it take for that vision to be realized?

 

Here are some ideas I'm pondering.

 

What would be the influence of commuter rail service to the region within 10 years? Sound far-fetched? Our counterpart just to our south, the Franklin Regional Council of Governments, is advocating for commuter service to Greenfield, and the Massachusetts Governor just announced a three year pilot of two additional round-trips to Greenfield from Springfield, Massachusetts beginning next year.

 

How do we plan for, and build, housing to meet the needs of current and future residents? How do we provide diverse housing options to allow aging residents and families to down size, and growing families to up size? How do we tackle the issues of affordability, cost of construction, livability of existing housing stock, proximity to jobs and services, and return on owner investment?

 

How should we plan for storms of the future, especially rain events? Throughout the nation and the world extreme precipitation events are becoming more frequent. We have traditionally planned around "100-year" flood events. How should we think about the prospect of larger and more frequent floods, and the relationship between our rivers and streams and our settlement patterns?

 

How do we best implement the new regional energy plan? What partnerships can we form at the regional level to move us forward towards energy conservation, switching to renewable fuel sources, development of renewable energy generation, and spending our fuel dollars locally rather than sending them far beyond our region?

 

How do we sustain our villages? How do we help these settlements that were largely built in the early 1800s adapt to demands of modern life, including drinking water and wastewater requirements? How do we ensure that these cultural and economic centers of southeastern Vermont life remain viable and vibrant?

 

What's on your mind? What are your ideas? What questions should we be asking? We'd like to know.

Last Updated on 09 July 2018
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