Case Study help

Sheila T. Isakson isakson at
Wed Aug 11 07:22:19 PDT 1999

Hello, Anne,

        How wonderful that you received training from my friend Birgitt Bolton
when she visited "Down Under."  I know that you received some valuable
experiences that will assist you in your work.  Working on environmental
issues certainly does present conditions suited to using Open Space,
        1) Diversity, which probably presents itself as different perspectives
concerning the priorities for land use as presented by developers,
recreation advocates, nature preservationists, business developers, etc.
        2) Complexity, which probably presents itself in the technical
dimensions of any joint venture.
        3) Passion, which probably presents itself in actual or potential
conflict between various constituencies and/or perspectives.
        4) Sense of Urgency, which probably presents itself in needing to
address environmental issues before more problems surface.

        My experience in similar situations is somewhat limited, but I can
assure you that taking the time to clarify the non-negotiables prior to
opening a space will give you a sense of the "lay of the land" that can
then be focused into a theme.  The opportunity that I had was with a
Department of City Development that wanted to demonstrate to federal
(national) and local officials that there was a need for use of money to
accomplish certain goals.  Invitations to an evening and then morning+
afternoon sessions, with lunch provided over one of the sessions, were
sent to about 20 organizations that had an interest in a particular
watershed (land that included a river and its tributaries) and we offered
a sliding scale for the theme from US $ 25- $ 95.  As the OS facilitator,
I assumed all of the financial risks and handled all of the registrations
and expenses.  About 75 people came and three themes emerged when people
posted topics: 1) need for participative planning, 2) business
development, and 3) concerns about water quality.  Preparation of a set
of proceedings provided the documentation that the Department of City
Development needed for their meetings with the national and local funding
officials.  The conversations that began in that Open Space are
continuing on line.  Several groups have continued working together on
the issues raised at the Open Space.  In other words, the conversations
have continued!

        Hope that this helps!

Sheila T. Isakson
Isakson Associates LLP
P.O. Box 370256
Milwaukee, WI 53237

(414) 482-1996
Fax (414) 482-1896
E-Mail Isakson at

On Wed, 11 Aug 1999 20:54:58 +1200 Anne Pattillo <pattillo at ACTRIX.GEN.NZ>
>I"m Anne, a Development Consultant from New Zealand.  I've recently
>received some training in OS from Birgitt Bolton - it was great and
>now I
>am beginning my own OS journey.
>I need some help.
>I am working with an environmental consultancy - engineers, town
>landscape architects.  We are looking to create a joint venture
>incorporating OS into planning and consultation processes.
>Does any one out there have examples, case studies of instances when
>OS has
>been used in planning, consulation, design and decision -making
>related to environmental planning issues.  For example, placement of
>prison in a community, design of roading or sewerage treatment, rural
>development, land or coastal use.
>I'd be very greatful.
>Anne Pattillo

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