Date of Award

5-2012

Document Type

Capstone

Degree Name

Master of Community Planning and Development (CPD)

Department

Community Planning and Development

First Advisor

Professor Jack Katrtez

Keywords

Sustainable Communities, HUD, Muskie School of Public Service

Abstract

This paper investigates the early response to the capacity building and knowledge sharing requirement as part of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Grant (SCRPG) program. Drawing from the work of a subset of ten grantees across the United States, this analysis investigates the innovative ways planning organizations are working to fulfill this unique requirement. An overview of the grant program is discussed followed by a discussion of how the knowledge sharing requirement reflects the new regionalism movement. The approach of each of the example grantees is examined in terms of what activities they are employing, gaps in information needed to fulfill this aspect of the new HUD initiative and other specific issues important to their individual initiatives. Eight activity-based criteria are used to compare and evaluate the local programs. These criteria – committee/working group efforts, report/information accessibility and distribution, social media presence, interactive activities, speaker series, educational workshops and public participation – are applied not in terms of measuring success but rather as a means to illustrate what activities are being implemented in this new program and which define the local response to the national requirements. Further, the criteria help to identify underused activities within each organization that could potentially enrich their knowledge sharing efforts. It is also important to note that these less frequently used innovative approaches may not be appropriately represented within a grantee’s individual efforts but still may carry important implications and lessons for future initiatives. While it is too early to determine the overall success each of the evaluated grantees will achieve in fulfilling the capacity building requirement, this evaluation does indicate which agencies are demonstrating a more concerted effort in this component. A summary matrix of the results of this analysis as well as project and lead agency contact information is also included.

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