Archive | Partner’s Blog

Neighborhood perceptions: How are they different?

In November and December, the Sustain Southern Maine team spent time talking with members of our communities who do not usually participate in planning discussions. Specifically, we met with recent immigrants, not-so-recent immigrants, people in subsidized housing, people who were homeless, people who were almost homeless (they call it couch surfing) and people raising families in marginal circumstances. […]

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Working on the Ten Coolest Places in Southern Maine

What does it take to make someplace vibrant and successful? What kind of qualities attract both people and businesses to locate there? Can we figure out how to transform potential into prosperity? Ten Southern Maine communities have volunteered to help us find out. Each of these communities have designated a small, yet special, portion of […]

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The Way Life Should Be? Not for Housing…

As I page through the real estate ads in my local paper, I could be forgiven for thinking that housing prices in Maine have dropped sufficiently so that most anyone can now afford to buy a home. I would be mistaken. At Sustain Southern Maine’s most recent Capacity Building session, Dana Totman, head of Avesta […]

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Conversations with Communities

During the last half of August, we had the opportunity to talk face-to-face with 27 of the 42 municipalities in the Sustain Southern Maine study area. And as always, talking with people face-to-face guarantees a few surprises. First, we were surprised – happily so – that almost three-quarters of the towns were willing and able […]

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Thoughts on an Ideal Community

Let’s be honest, doesn’t the whole concept of an “ideal” community feel slightly distasteful? I mean, ideal for whom? Surely we all know that what suits one person may well be anathema to another. And especially here in Maine, cookie-cutter communities are not very popular. We like to pride ourselves on our rugged individualism. So, […]

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Surprise! Americans think planning is a good idea!

The American Planning Association has just released the results of a major survey designed to understand how Americans feel about planning and the economy. Why? It’s no secret that planning budgets have taken a hit lately everywhere. APA wants to know if planning is considered to have any value at all to the average joe […]

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The Price of Isolation

Sustain Southern Maine, a very ambitious planning effort stretching from Brunswick to Kittery, Sanford to Standish, simply begs people to ask the obvious question.

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