Monday, June 30, 2008

Second Town Center Advisory Committee meeting tonight at 6:30, episode 3 of the project podcast uploaded last Friday

This post is just a reminder to anyone interested in attending tonight's Advisory Committee meeting. The Committee and interested stakeholders will begin looking at details of the new Town Center zoning code. This analysis will form the basis for the full code, which will be presented to the Committee and Planning and Zoning Commission in the coming months. It is very important that anyone with an opinion of how the Town Center should develop attend and participate in this and upcoming meetings. Each opinion will be heard and counted, so please make plans to attend and help guide the committee's decision making process.

Also, those of you with a free subscription to the project podcast should have noticed Episode 3 available for download on Friday. This episode is the second half of the June 2nd Advisory Committee meeting. The main focus of this recording was a discussion of the visual preference exercise results. Be sure to check out the results music video which was also published as a podcast and embedded in this blog. Future episodes of the podcast will be published in the coming weeks, so please subscribe or check here for updates. As always, if you would prefer to not use iTunes or other podcast software, you can download the episodes manually by right clicking here, and choosing "save as."

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Visual Preference Exercise results music video is ready to watch (Episode 2 of the project Podcast)

Part 2 of the June 2nd Advisory Committee meeting will be posted Friday morning. The majority of this recording is a discussion of the Visual Preference Exercise results. To refresh the memories of those in attendance, and to give other interested parties a feel for the results, the consultant team has prepared a video slide show. This video (also available in the podcast feed) should be an entertaining presentation of the top rated 15 and bottom rated 5 examples. Keep in mind that the ratings were for the pictures themselves, not the cities as a whole. Participates were rating for how well they felt the examples represented their vision for the Whitehouse Town Center. You can watch the video below or in the podcast feed.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Episode 1 of the project Podcast is now online.

Anyone interested in hearing a recording of the June 2nd Advisory Committee Meeting can do so now. The consultant team will be producing similar audio and video shows throughout the process. Meeting recordings will typically be edited for length to reduce listening time requirements. Episode 2 will include the second half of the June 2nd meeting, and will be posted later in the week.

The show can be downloaded in two ways. The easiest is as a podcast. Podcasts are free subscriptions to audio and video shows which are automatically downloaded and added to portable music players like iPods or Zunes. The show can be found in the iTunes store (a free download for any Mac or Windows users). If you have installed iTunes:

  • Click on the "iTunes Store" link on the left to activate the store.
  • Once this has opened, type "Whitehouse Town Center" into the store's search box (located at the top right of the screen) and press ENTER.
  • You should now see a podcast with the name "Whitehouse Town Center and Comprehensive Zoning Update." Click the subscribe button.
  • Now click on the "Podcasts" link on the left to see the podcasts.
  • You should see the show here. Click the little triangle to the left of its name to show all available episodes.
  • ITunes defaults to only download the latest episode, but you can click the "get" button to download any others that are listed as well. The program will automatically add new shows to this list as they are uploaded by the consultant team.
  • Once downloaded you can listen to each episode from your computer, on an mp3 player (including but exclusive to iPods), or burn them to CD.
  • If you want to subscribe to the feed with software other than iTunes, the URL is here.

If you would prefer to not use iTunes or other podcast software, you can download the episodes manually by right clicking here, and choosing "save as."

Feel free to get in touch with the consultants at if you need further assistance.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Our heads are in the (word) clouds

In preparing for the upcoming advisory committee meeting, it was helpful to review the public involvement notes from the Vision 2020 Comprehensive Plan. It became obvious that many of the issues important to participants then remain very relevant to the task of planning for the Town Center. To illustrate the point, I generated a Word Cloud (below, click on the image for full sized view) from the meeting recordings. This visualization technique shows the 150 words which were said the most by citizen participants. The size of each word is determined by the number of times it was said.

It is clear from the cloud that concepts such as "Town Center," "mixed use development," "a place for people," "development," and "community" were highly important issues in 2005 when the plan was being developed. Our task as we move forward is to turn these general concepts into concrete plans and regulations.

At our meeting on June 30th the consultant team will present the framework of a zoning code to regulate and promote the Town Center. More details will follow about the meeting, but anyone with an interest in the area should make plans to attend and help us turn a vision into reality.