Currently, CMAP’s Local Technical Assistance (LTA) program provides technical assistance to local governments, nonprofits, and intergovernmental organizations to address local issues at the intersection of transportation, land use, and housing and advance the principles of the region’s comprehensive plan. Since its creation in 2011, the program has completed nearly 200 projects, including comprehensive plans, neighborhood plans, bicycle and pedestrian plans, parking management studies, ordinance updates, and sustainability plans. Augmenting current LTA approaches with greater attention to capacity building activities will help project partners achieve local plan goals and implement ON TO 2050 recommendations. In particular, communities with lower capacity may need assistance beyond what CMAP currently offers.

To help lower capacity communities remove barriers to implementation of local and regional goals, CMAP can leverage LTA resources and partnerships. For example, many local governments lack connections with critical nonprofit, government, and private sector implementers that have relevant expertise, authorities, and other required resources. Yet making these connections can strengthen planning efforts, establish enduring partnerships, and help ensure implementation. Trainings, workshops, and other follow-up assistance can also support implementation by familiarizing plan partners with key objectives and clarifying the roles of staff and officials for specific actions.

Without clear guidance and assistance from CMAP, ON TO 2050 will not be implemented by local governments. Providing materials that clearly communicate the local applicability and implementation potential of ON TO 2050 recommendations will help develop local expertise while advancing regional goals. Such guidance may, in part, be built from ON TO 2050’s local strategy maps, which translate the plan’s broad regional recommendations into community-level actions. For example, the Regional Urban Flooding Susceptibility Index illustrates areas at higher risk of flooding in the region, but communities may need guidance on how to incorporate it into local planning efforts. Metropolitan planning organizations in other regions have created programs to help partners implement regional plan goals at the local level, assisting municipalities in the short term while building long-term capacity.{{For examples, see Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission, “Municipal Outreach Program,” http://www.dvrpc.org/MunicipalOutreach.}}

Action 1

Build implementation-focused workshops and trainings into LTA projects and strengthen partner connections to critical implementers during each local planning process to build capacity and prepare communities to accomplish their goals.

Implementers

CMAP

Action 2

Continue to provide technical assistance to lower capacity communities, and develop new ways to build their capacity over time.

Implementers

CMAP and partners

Action 3

Coordinate with partners to provide supplemental planning staff for local governments with limited or no planning staff to help with program activities determined in consultation with each municipality, after determining their priorities and needs.

Implementers

CMAP

Action 4

Partner with other entities such as professional organizations, universities, and civic organizations that can access and provide professional expertise to assist with the full set of resources required to build capacity, such as legal, accounting, and finance advisement necessary for consolidations and certain intergovernmental agreements.

Implementers

CMAP

Action 5

Create topical ON TO 2050 implementation guidance materials and pair them with trainings and workshops for local government staff and officials.

Implementers

CMAP