Project Background

The Planning for Complete Communities in Delaware project began in 2012 and was designed to develop a broad framework to plan for complete communities in Delaware. IPA conducted a focused literature review, worked with two pilot communities, and developed a comprehensive outreach strategy—including the launch of a Planning for Complete Communities website.

“Attractive, inclusive, efficient, healthy and resilient places” was adopted as the slogan for the Complete Communities Delaware project and was the theme for the Complete Communities Summit, held in November 2012. Summit presentations provided insight on how Delaware can plan for and design “complete communities,” communities that provide transportation and housing choices, enhance economic competitiveness, and promote healthy and vibrant living environments.

Outcomes from this initial phase included reports for each of the two pilot communities:

Cover of the report Formulating a Framework to Plan for Complete Communities in DelawareA final report, Formulating a Framework to Plan for Complete Communities in Delaware, culminated the first phase of the project. The planning framework was designed to develop tools, techniques, and training to help local governments maintain and create communities in Delaware where people love to live.

Subsequent phases of the Planning for Complete Communities in Delaware project have focused on implementing the complete communities planning framework. In 2013, a series of workshops were conducted on “State and Local Government Regulatory Barriers to Complete Communities in Delaware.” IPA also hosted a 2013 Complete Communities Delaware Summit, which brought stakeholders together and discussed trends that are driving the appeal of complete communities,

highlighted “recipes for success” by Delaware municipalities, and showcased planning innovations for complete communities at the federal, state, and local government levels.

In 2014, IPA began integrating complete communities concepts within its Delaware Planning Education Training program. An online Delaware Complete Communities Planning Toolbox was developed and offers a user-friendly format for citizen planners, local government officials, and community members. The Toolbox explains planning concepts that serve as complete communities’ building blocks; the five elements of a complete community; and tools, strategies, and resources. Toolbox content continues to grow and evolve. It is designed to build local government capacity to better manage growth, consider benefits of better community design, spur reinvestment in older communities, protect natural and environmental resources, understand the connection between land use and transportation planning, promote placemaking as an economic development strategy, combat sprawl, and make more efficient use of limited resources.

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