Several bloggers and the TD have chimed in with their views of last night’s meeting. The consensus: too much talking and repetition from earlier meetings, but participants were diverse for a change and seemed to agree on the changes Richmond needs to make.

A rundown of the reports so far, with interesting quotes pulled out for your reading pleasure (though I encourage you to read all these posts).

The most comprehensive review, as usual: John Sarvay’s Buttermilk and Molasses post: The Downtown Plan: Second Meeting, First Blush

If applause is a measure of the audience’s priorities, then Richmond wants more than good design downtown — it wants bike lanes and affordable housing; it wants someone to fix the schools and to help the homeless; it wants a green city, and a city built around the James River.

Ross Catrow has a short personal reflection: Sea of Boringness

Next time I’d love to see two hours of Q&A and one hour of powerpoint — especially if I’ve already seen the powerpoint two times before.

Jon Baliles weighs in at River City Rapids with Participation Can Be Painful

The planners are holding true to two central and important themes with the plan – they are still listening and revising on the fly as they glean more information, and this is a plan that will be done bit by bit, not boondoggle by boondoggle. For that, we can be thankful and hopeful.

And lastly, the corporate media presented some new information not covered by the bloggers with their article, Getting ready for downtown growth: Richmond master plan predicts influx and need to prepare

Fueled by an influx of baby boomers, young adults and others, the area will be prime for development and redevelopment during the next decade, according to market research presented last night at a community meeting on the city’s downtown master plan update.

The area could attract about 1 million square feet of new retail space, 1 million square feet of new office space and between 4,000 and 6,000 additional households by 2017, researchers told about 400 residents, community leaders and others who came to hear the research at the Renaissance Conference Center.

Public input was limited to an hour question and answer session at the end of the presentation, but surveys & comment forms were available in abundance.

So the meeting was, perhaps, not the most inspiring and exciting way to create change in our city, but an important step in moving the master plan process along.

And for those who are passionate about creating positive change in our community, an event announcement from fellow Richmond blogger, RVA Foodie:

Need some inspiration to renew your hope and optimism about civic life? Does the political system shut you out of the process?

The newly released book, We Make Change and the Virginia Organizing Project could help you change your relationship to power in Richmond and statewide.

We Make Change is a lively, readable collection of stories and observations by community organizers across the United States. Community organizers are the people who work, often behind the scenes, to help people come together to effect meaningful change in their communities by building effective community organizations.

A FREE public event will be held:

September 30 at 4:00 p.m.
at the L. Douglas Wilder library,
Virginia Union University in Richmond.

Author Joe Szakos will be on hand to give a reading from the book and to autograph copies. We Make Change will be available for sale. All royalties from the book will go into a special fund for recruiting and training interns and apprentice organizers.

Read more at Carmelized OpiNIONS, and attend the event to get inspired about making change in your community!

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