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Flagstaff Southside Community Specific Plan

2020 International Project of the Year

International Association for Public Participation

2020 Respect for Diversity, Inclusion, and Culture Award

International Association for Public Participation

2021 Public Outreach Award

American Planning Association, Arizona Chapter

The Southside Community Specific Plan was a collaborative planning effort between the City of Flagstaff, the Southside Community Association (SCA), Friends of the Rio de Flag (FoRF), Northern Arizona University (NAU), and the business owners and residents of the Southside neighborhood in the heart of Flagstaff, Arizona. The Plan refined urban patterns and development goals identified in the Flagstaff Regional Plan 2030 to manage increasing development pressure while preserving the events, locations, and footprints of the past that are integral to the Southside’s distinct character and sense of place.

The Plan included three volumes with planning goals, policies, and strategies to guide future decision-making; concept plans that illustrate how those goals, policies, and strategies could be interpreted to improve the built environment; and site and area analyses that informed the collaborative process and final Plan. The process was guided by a commitment to site-specific, community-driven planning and a public participation plan that incorporated core principles and innovative outreach methods to effectively overcome decades of discriminatory practices and development pressure that resulted in displacement, community marginalization, and distrust.

Positive, lasting impacts were apparent even before Plan completion and implementation. It was unanimously adopted on September 1, 2020. The Southside Community Specific Plan is now a standard bearer in public engagement and empowerment efforts that ensure inclusive planning and equitable outcomes.

Specialized Public Engagement Approaches:

  • Storytelling and visioning workshops
  • Topical workshops
  • Bus and walking tours
  • On-the-street, pop-up meetings
  • Online and in-person surveys
  • Community event information booth
  • Open hours at the community center
  • Interactive, online maps