Advisory Services Panel – Baton Rouge, Louisiana

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Date: July 7 – 10, 2008

Location: Baton Rouge, LA

Sponsors: Metropolitan Council, City Parish Planning Commission

Chair: Abe Farkas

Subject Area: Regional Growth and Planning

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Summary of Recommendations

The City of Baton Rouge, Parish of East Baton Rouge, invited the panel to help guide Baton Rouge’s physical growth through the development of a new comprehensive plan. Overall, the panel believed that creating a strong vision for the city-parish would provide direction, clarity, and purpose in hopes of becoming the next great American city. It was vital for the new plan to integrate and coordinate all major aspects of Baton Rouge’s ongoing development: land use, natural systems, transportation, housing and infrastructure.

Baton Rouge needed to create a robust vision for the future with recommendations from elected officials, planning staff, nonprofit organizations, and the larger community. These ideas and implementation strategies would then help form a strong comprehensive plan. The government and public leaders had to remember not to waver in support of the plan and always use it as a guide for future development decisions and infrastructure investments. A lead agency had to be established in order to manage implementation and set goals. The panel recommended that the public also take part in determining the direction of growth proposed in the plan and always have a feeling of ownership of the plan as well. In hopes of implementing an effective plan for Baton Rouge, collaboration, organization, and commitment from all public and private leaders would be needed.

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