It’s not a stretch to say that most people who need to use a city’s zoning code are perplexed. Not surprisingly, this leads to frustration and that’s a bad starting point for any human endeavor.

In large part, that’s why I wanted to share some of my thoughts with my colleagues to see if we can collectively refocus our efforts to put residents front and center in how local zoning codes are written and then administered.

Published in the February edition of Planning, “User-Centered Planning” is one-third text and two-thirds infographic. The first part looks at how successful businesses view their customers and how that drives everything that they do. With that as a springboard, the rest of the article presents a general framework – the infographic – that depicts how a local planning office can improve the user-experience for their residents.

Its intended to offer a road map and some specific steps so that local planning officials can begin to move the needle in the right direction.

While we’ve been taught as planners to “make no small plans” I hope the biggest take-away is that there are many things that can be done, today with relatively low cost.

I’d love to hear what you think about the article. Not only that, I’d like to learn what your city has done or is doing to improve the user-experience. You may contact me at [email protected].

Tim Schwecke, AICP

Read the article here.