Community Planning Assistance Teams
Through Community Planning Assistance Teams (CPAT), the Washington Chapter of the American Planning Association partners with the state Department of Commercce (Commerce) to provide communities (cities, towns or neighborhoods) the assistance of professional planners and other specialists in articulating visions, solving problems or resolving issues. Read on for more information about APA Washington's CPAT program, how you can participate, and how we can create a partnership.
What Is CPAT?
The CPAT is a committee and a program of APA Washington. The objectives of CPAT are to connect plans and actions, identify local and regional resources for sustainable planning, and advance the principles of APA for a Livable Washington. CPAT assistance is targeted to communities that lack planning resources, however, an online resource has recently been made available thanks to funding from the American Planning Association Urban Design and Preservation Division and the Washington State Planning Directors Association. The CPAT Community Design Resource project resulted in creation of the new “Community Design and Planning Handbook” . Use this resource to gain a better understanding of the CPAT program and how to participate, and to access technical information for use in understanding, identifying and addressing community design issues.
CPAT members include planners with expertise in land use, transportation, economic development, urban design, natural resources, parks and recreation, historic preservation, and other areas. There are members all over the state. In addition, CPAT is affiliated with the planning schools at Eastern Washington University and the University of Washington. With these resources, CPAT is accustomed to working with diverse community groups and finding progressive solutions.
In September 2005 CPAT assistance was provided to the City of Cle Elum regarding the economic development, historic preservation and transportation circulation issues and opportunities surrounding downtown revitalization. The City of Concrete received assistance in April 2007 on issues ranging from pedestrian mobility and student safety to historic preservation and economic development. A CPAT project with the City of Zillah in May 2007 focused on the economic development and historic preservation aspects of the city's effort to preserve, relocate and reuse the historic Zillah Teapot as a community centerpiece. Reports from these and several other CPAT community–based events follow.
- Ocean Shores
- Royal City
- Cle Elum - Old Town Revitalization
- Downtown Sultan - Vision 2020
- Prosser Report, City of Prosser Thank You Letter
What CPAT Can Provide
CPAT offers several levels of assistance. Upon submission of a completed CPAT Request for Assistance form, CPAT's Technical Advisory Committee will review the request and determine whether the applicant qualifies for assistance, and if so, what level of assistance is appropriate. CPAT levels of assistance range from a consultation to various types of community-based events and follow-up activities.
- Consultation is the simplest and quickest CPAT assistance level. Assistance is provided through a telephone or in-person conference between your community's representative(s) and CPAT team members. This Consultation level of assistance provides suggestions of self-help measures and/or alternative resources appropriate to the defined issues.
- On the other end of the spectrum, various types of Community-based Events and Follow-up provide a more substantive level of assistance. The one to two day planning charrettes provide more in-depth analysis and a culminating report, such as those linked to this site. A CPAT Community-based Event requires between four to six months of planning and coordination, and thus a higher level of commitment from your community. A Memorandum of Understanding will be developed following pre-event consultations. Scheduling of the event should be based on other local activities and fixed events. A Friday evening / Saturday all day schedule is generally the most productive. After the charrette, follow-up contacts from CPAT may provide support for implementation.
How You Can Participate
There are three distinct kinds of participants in CPAT efforts: communities, individual volunteers, and organizations.
- Communities (cities, towns or neighborhoods) seeking CPAT assistance must complete and submit a CPAT Request for Assistance describing a well-defined problem or issue that can be addressed in a defined amount of time, the community's need, local support, and the specific deliverable being requested. To apply, download and complete the CPAT Request for Assistance form, then email it to firstname.lastname@example.org. The Request for Assistance form can be printed instead and is also available by calling a CPAT Co-chair below. The completed form should be forwarded to: APA Washington, 603 Stewart St, Suite 610, Seattle WA 98101.
- Individual volunteers with relevant subject matter expertise may find a satisfying pro bono experience as a resource person on CPAT. If you are willing to serve as a volunteer, please call a CPAT Co-chair (contact information listed below) to learn about current and future volunteer opportunities, or submit a Volunteer Form .
- Organizations interested in partnering should call a CPAT Co-chair below to explore their interests and discuss getting a partnership discussion scheduled.
As interest builds in the APA Washington CPAT program, the assistance approach continues to be refined. CPAT is working with applicant cities, universities and additional partnering organizations such as the Association of Washington Cities, the Washington Association of Counties, the National APA Urban Design and Preservation Division, and others to find more ways to effectively provide pro-bono planning assistance. For more information, please check back on this website regularly, or contact Kristian Kofoed, (206) 233-7191, or Paula Reeves, (360) 705-7258, CPAT Co-chairs.