five common themes
Collaborative Planning: Foster collaboration between regional entities and governments to improve planning, share knowledge, and implement best practices.
A recurring theme throughout the sustainability planning process was a call for improved inter-governmental cooperation. A number of the focus area chapters identified strategies to improve communication and knowledge sharing between entities. For example, the Transportation chapter recommends an annual meeting to discuss regional transportation issues. It also identifies the need to remove barriers preventing inter-county bus service, and for better coordination between municipalities and the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) in order to carry out road improvement projects that are both in line with community plans and NYSDOT standards. These recommendations tie directly into a goal of the Livable Communities and Land Use chapter which calls for updated region wide comprehensive plans. By routinely updating comprehensive plans, communities are able to establish and clarify their long term goals for items such as street designs, infrastructure, and business needs.
The creation and enhancement of comprehensive plans encourages development that reflects the needs of the populace and avoids the unnecessary cost of expanding and maintaining new infrastructure. With only 52% of North Country villages and towns having comprehensive plans, there are many opportunities for communities to assess their priorities and implement the strategies put forth in this Plan. In addition to comprehensive plans, open lines of communication between communities allow them to work together to share best practices, promote complementary tourism and business opportunities, and share resources where appropriate. Additional examples reflected in plan chapters include Water Management, which recommends planning on a watershed level rather than a jurisdictional level. The Energy chapter provides a project example of how shared resources between municipalities can result in the cost-effective installation of renewable energy.
North Country Region Sustainability Plan