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Dynamic Planning Charrettes

For More Information: National Charrette Institute,

To produce a feasible plan within an accelerated time frame that benefits from the support of all stakeholders throughout its implementation. 

  • Master plan for reorganization, redevelopment, or new product design 
  • Multidisciplinary detailed studies (e.g., engineering, financial, market) 
  • Implementation mechanisms (e.g.,policies, codes, standards) 
  • Action plans with roles, responsibilities, and timelines 

When to Use: 
  • Company reorganization, product design, community planning, building design 
  • Projects that have multiple stakeholders with disparate agendas/needs 
  • Complex design and planning problems involving a number of different disciplines 
  • Projects with the potential to transform an organization (new policies) 

When Not to Use: 

  • When primary stakeholders will not participate in good faith 
  • Simple problems with little political and/or design complexity 

Number of Participants: 

Types of Participants: 
  • Primary—Company leadership, elected and appointed officials, agency staff, site property owners 
  • Secondary—Management, nongovernmental organizations, local nonprofits, businesses, and residences directly affected 
  • General—employees, community members 

Typical Duration: 
  • Phase One—Research, Education, and Charrette Preparation: 6 weeks-4 months
  • Phase Two—Charrette: 4–7 days. 
  • Phase Three—Implementation: 4–18 months 

Brief Example: 
A dynamic planning process forged an agreement between Contra Costa County, California, and the Walden Improvement Association (neighborhood group) to develop the Pleasant Hill Bay Area Rapid Transit station area. After 25 years and several failed attempts, the transformative six-day Charrette created a plan with the input of all stakeholders. 

Historical Context: 
Created in 2001 by the National Charrette Institute. Historically rooted in collaborative design workshops by architectural and urban design firms.