With 2,562 municipalities spread across its 67 counties, Pennsylvanians have long considered regional planning as an endeavor comparable in result to the herding of cats. Such expectations of frustration, however, may be giving way to a more global perspective–and a growing willingness of local officials to work together.
10,000 Friends of Pennsylvania, an alliance of organizations spearheading the creation of public policies that revitalize communities and conserve the state’s heritage and resources, reports that legislative reforms enacted almost a decade ago have engaged 27 percent of municipal governments in planning projects to guide growth and preserve the quality of life by acting in concert with neighboring municipalities.
The report says that such planning efforts, aimed at easing traffic congestion, guarding precious water resources, and sustaining the quality and appeal of Pennsylvania’s landscape, have engaged 683 municipal governments in 175 planning programs. The activity has produced 120 plans, and 114 of them have been accepted by all of the individual municipalities participating in the planning exercises. The quality-of-life benefits from such planning affect 23 percent of Pennsylvania’s population, according to the report.
Based on these results, the value of making more diverse and far-reaching plans may just be starting to gain currency in the local politics of the Commonwealth.
“Most of us cross municipal boundaries every day,” says Judy Swank, CEO and President of 10,000 Friends. “We live, work, shop and send our kids to schools in different municipalities. It only makes sense that local governments should join together and think regionally about the future of their communities.”
Read the entire report here.
Source: 10,000 Friends of Pennsylvania
Writer: Joseph Plummer
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