Setting the Scene
Given the scale of change typically envisioned in urban regeneration initiatives, strong relationships between the public and private sectors will need to be forged early in the process so that there is a “buy-in” or ownership of the project. It is critical to think ahead early in the planning process and not wait until the end to identify and engage potential private, civic, and public partners. These groups will act as the main implementers, change agents, and advocates for regeneration. Indeed, the key to successful PPPs in urban regeneration is to “engage early and often.” The planning process should be based on the following analyses:
- Defining the different sectors and levels of participation that will be required to ensure an inclusive process, especially with respect to potential private sector partners that might participate in future PPPs.
- Describing how government, civic, community, and private sector interests and leadership will engage in the process through a variety of forums, such as steering committees, open forums, private negotiations, and so on; defining both the formal and informal structures for participation.
- Identifying the concerns/goals of each interest group so that, to the fullest extent possible, all the issues, risks, and opportunities related to each group and their “negotiating positions” are understood and factored into the design process.
- Ascertaining the best means beyond the formal planning process to ensure inclusiveness and engagement of the broadest diversity of sectors and populations (including those populations that may not traditionally participate) through communications vehicles, such as social media, direct surveys, smaller forums, street-level conversations, and design “charrettes.”