During her time as the Planning Director for the City of Perth Amboy, Topology team member, Annie Hindenlang, oversaw the creation of an economic growth strategy. After revealing a significant and untapped arts, cultural, and historical scene, Annie partnered with a local non-profit, the Jewish Renaissance Foundation, and applied for a National Endowment for the Arts Our Town planning grant to better understand this opportunity and create an action plan. Working with Leo Vasquez from the National Consortium for Creative Placemaking, the City created a “Creative Team” who served as a steering committee for the process. Annie worked with leaders of the Creative Team to use a variety of outreach and data collection methods to synthesize and prioritize these efforts into an implementation plan.
Since its adoption, many of the short-term tasks–such as an annual arts festival and new public art have been implemented, while longer term strategies–rezoning for an arts district, are well underway.
In 2016, the Creative Perth Amboy plan was awarded the New Jersey American Planning Association’s Outstanding Plan Award – Municipal.
Key Insight: The best plans involve a wide breadth of expertise, local support, and a planner capable of maintaining the overall vision to bring diverse interests together into an effective, actionable document.