This month, local residents were given an opportunity to discuss the changes they wanted to see in their community.  By participating in a BHC Charette, the voice of the community was used to create a plan for success.

“A Charette is a multi-day public planning process that has iterative forms of feedback,” says Katie Valenzuela Garcia with Ubuntu Green.  “In theory if you came on one day and you came the next day, you wouldn’t be giving feedback on the same thing,  but your feedback would grow as the plans started to be developed. The goal is to create a proactive plan that we can rally behind.”

The Charette focused on a variety of issues throughout Southern Sacramento, including Housing, Urban Agriculture, Circulation (Pedestrian Travel), Social Equity, Community Engagement, Economic Develpoment, and Environmental Health.  Easy and interactive forms of feedback, including surveys, comment cards, and color-coded stickers, allowed participants to clearly present the changes they wanted to see in their communities.

For younger participants, the experience was particularly valuable.

“I would describe this event as empowering and informational, because this event is taking in youth voice,” said Yeshayah Yisreal, youth participant.  “When we [youth] go to the city council, they usually…exclude our voice, but this event is taking in our voice and is going to let us have some say in what’s happening in our community.”

The Charette, which spanned a full week, aimed to isolate the factors that inhibit the development of struggling communities.

“We’ve been really pleased with the number of folks that have come out and the feedback that we’ve gotten,” says Valenzuela Garcia. “We know the issues and we hear a lot of the issues, but [we want] to have a vision, that we can all say ‘this is what we’re trying to get to.’  We want to show the residents in this area what’s possible.”

To learn more about the BHC Initiative, click here.  See below for photos from the BHC Charette.

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