PUP 301: Desert View Village Planning Committee (Sample Paper)


For this assignment, pick a public meeting that deals with planning issues, and attend the whole meeting in person. Always look out for a meeting to attend from the first day of class. This meeting can be a City Council, Planning Commission, Development Review Board, Board of Adjustment, Village Planning, or Neighborhood Association meeting. Check one of the local city’s websites and search for: Public Meetings. Many cities will have the agenda listed just before the meeting for you to download and review, which can help you better understand the procedure for the meeting you attend. You should start looking for one or two meetings to attend that interest you in order to fit it into your schedule as soon as possible. Watching an online video of the meeting will NOT fulfill the assignment. You should attend your meeting a few weeks before the paper is due. DO NOT WAIT TO ATTEND MEETINGS UNTIL EARLY MARCH. Meetings do get cancelled, and that is not an acceptable reason for not completing the assignment.

The paper you write should be more than 4 full pages in length and less than 5 full pages, double spaced and 12-point Times New Roman font, with 1-inch margins on all sides. Type your Name, PUP 301, and the Date, single-spaced, in the upper left corner of your paper. Make sure that your last name is in the top right corner of the header on every page.

Use this assignment to critically evaluate the public participation aspect of urban planning. Again, you must use a formal tone and write only in third person. Two-thirds of the paper should discuss the overall meeting. Think about the following questions and answer at least 3 of them: (1) Is the meeting going smoothly, and are there improvements that could be made to help the meeting flow better? (2) Are there people attending the meeting that surprise you? Describe the different kinds of people. Did they come to the meeting for a specific reason or purpose? What was the atmosphere of the room? Respectful? Angry? (3) Find out what the process is in order for an audience member to speak at the meeting. Is there a speaker card that needs to be filled out, for example? Is there a time limit for comments from the audience or other types of public participation? (4) After attending the meeting, do you think it was an effective way to get community feedback? Did you think that the whole community was represented? Can you think of a better way to encourage public participation? The last one third of your paper should be a summary of the meeting’s purpose and the outcome of the agenda items.