The Geographic Footprint of Heart & Soul A project by Holli R. Andrews
Under the guidance of Professor Matthew Bampton, University of Southern Maine GIS Department & Ariana McBride, Orton Family Foundation
Downtown Biddeford's Geographic Footprint of Human Values
This project’s objective was to create GIS maps that highlight the character of specific locations in downtown Biddeford, Maine - duly noted by residents and stakeholders during a city-wide outreach initiative to inform the development of a master plan. These maps reveal heart and soul attributes of Biddeford’s city center by organizing public inputs captured in multi-media stories and linking them to these locations. Results of the project include a .kml file developed for the project’s website, as well as four maps profiling geospatial information and civic opinions on land use zoning, planning themes, and historic elements of downtown. Conclusions indicate that maps enhanced by multi-media provide broader opportunities for public participation, as well as longevity for public interest beyond the culmination of the planning process. Maps from this project will be used to inform segments of the downtown chapter of Biddeford’s comprehensive plan in 2010.
Once booming textile mills …
Heart of Biddeford
North Dam Mill
F.W. Woolworth Co.
Liggett Drug Company
Downtown Master Plan Project
“A lot of people from the mills started working in other industries to better themselves. The 1950s to the 1960s, people started moving away, started working in other parts of the state. The downtown area was thriving, but when these people left, is when the mills started closing and moving their sheeting departments and moving the material and machinery down south. Stores started closing one at a time and eventually started moving away, most of them moved away,” excerpt from the Burger King Gang.
St. Jean De Baptist
Southern ME Boxing
Courtesy of the McArthur Library
Murphy's Music Store
… now provide space for a variety of uses,
Stories Weaving Individual Narratives into a Community Experience
creative economic development,
Biddeford Heart & Soul Themes Beach community
Who is saying what?
Process Community-building, Engagement, and Connection
Five Points Area
% % % % % % % % % % % % % % % % % % % % % % %
Master Plan Five Points area
Creating a Vibrant and Welcoming Downtown
Theme Codes 1. 2. 3. 4.
Social / family Lifestyles and routines Housing downtown Transportation
5. 6. 7. 8. 9.
Recreation Economic Development Conservation Safety and/or crime Governance
0 0.35 0.7
Beach communities Atlantic Ocean
HeartSpots University of New England
Downtown Biddeford 2
City Hall City Theatre Dad's Cigar Parlor The Ross Center Fishman's HFS Annex Heart of Biddeford
Highlight Zone Jewel of India McArthur Library
Visions for the future, with roots in the past
New Morning Natural North Dam Mill Palace Diner Pizza by Alex Puritan Restaurant Reilly's Bakery Southern ME Boxing Good Dog Company Westpoint Stevens Wonderbar Woolworth's Youland's Jewelers Building footprints
Miles 0 0.5 1
What are people saying about Biddeford?
An approach to land use planning innovated by the Orton Family Foundation
LAND USE ZONING IN DOWNTOWN BIDDEFORD
“The nicest memory is Reilly’s Bakery. And when I was a young man, back in the late 40’s and the early 50’s, we used to go over there and get what we call a bag of crumbs for either a penny or two cents. And if you were lucky, you got a bag of yesterday’s leftovers, and you made out like a bandit. If you weren’t lucky, then you got what you paid for, a bag of crumbs. But, nine out of ten, you ended up pretty decent,” Frank Hammond.
Economic statistics that influence some of the human attitudes currently shaping the condition of downtown... Biddeford Industry Public administration Other services (except public administration)
Arts, entertainment, recreation, accommodation … Educational, health and social services Professional, scientific, management, … Finance, insurance, real estate, and rental and … Information
Transportation and warehousing, and utilities Retail trade
Biddeford on GoogleEarth – public interface
Wholesale trade Manufacturing
Beach Community in Relationship to Downtown
Biddeford Pool MSRD3
University of New England
Commuting to Work
2009 photos by Claire Houston, Anna Schechter, and John Barstow
Beach Community HeartSpots 0 0.5 1
F.O. Goldthwaite's Market
^ Downtown Biddeford Area
Construction Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting, and mining
“I have a very fond memory of the former Taylors’ Greeting Card Shop. My father and I actually performed the renovations to the former greeting card shop - converting the old Reilly’s Bakery sign was one of my initial ideas. The entire façade of the old Reilly’s Bakery was metal and baked enamel. I had the idea to take that portion of the enamel façade to make the sign that now exists at Reilly’s Bakery, so I have very fond memories of that location,” Todd Shea of Biddeford.
0 Car, truck, or van -- drove alone
Engage the community, including new voices, in identifying and describing Biddeford’s heart & soul Create bridges between the diverse segments of the community, including “the Pool,” downtown neighborhoods, university community, newcomers and old timers, building common ground and a sense of shared civic pride Ensure that community heart & soul is central to all future downtown planning and development initiatives and that heart and soul values are reflected in planning documents Create a Downtown Vision Statement and Master Plan that protects and enhances the City’s unique character and special features Track implementation of the Master Plan
Car, truck, or van -carpooled
Public transportation (including taxicab)
Saco River Downtown streets Biddeford roads
MSRD2 Town boundaries
Main Street Revitalization Districts 480
By gathering stories in a variety of settings, the HeartWorks Master Plan Project coordinators were able to encourage honest dialog from people who might otherwise miss an opportunity to participate in this local initiative.
Layering community stories among the geospatial datasets in GIS maps provides a unique opportunity for public voice to resonate throughout the planning process.
GIS provided a medium for organizing these public inputs with the places that they referenced, and in that way, increased the odds that decision-makers will be more informed about the aspects of character and place Biddeford residents and stakeholders hold dear.