From the dictionary:
noun: charrette; plural noun: charrettes; noun: charette; plural noun: charettes
a meeting in which all stakeholders in a project attempt to resolve conflicts and map solutions.
Here is a more complete definition of Charrette.
If you wondered why anyone thinks there is a problem with Bedford’s ‘livability’ to start with, you’re not alone. This is only a ‘problem’ of the town’s making. Nevertheless, the company hired to oversee this process will make a pretense of gathering your ideas, ideas which if carried out, will cost LOTS of tax dollars. The company after all, is promoting ‘New Urbanism’.
But Bedford is NOT urban, it is NOT a city.
Charrettes, if this is what TPUDC-LLC chooses to conduct to gather input, will take place in multiple sessions in which the group is divided into sub-groups. Each sub-group will be led by a ‘facilitator’ who will bring his or her group to a consensus. The facilitators will at the end of the session present the outcomes of each group to the full group as material for further dialogue. Similar to the ‘listening sessions’ of A Granite State Future, the facilitator has a pre-ordained agenda and works hard to make sure it is followed. When A Granite State Future was conducting its listening sessions and found that attendees often opposed their ideas, they actually hired ACTORS to become facilitators at future sessions. NH Listens is a public relations organization created by the Carsey Institute, a private foundation.
If Charrettes are planned for Bedford, it is imperative that as many people attend as possible. It is simply a way to make you think ideas originated from you, when they did not.
Charrettes are meant to diffuse the ‘squeakiest wheels’ and can be designed to sell the pre-ordained plan of those conducting it, rather than taking heed of what the participants want.
The National Charrette Institute brags about how they got people to pass a transit project that had been opposed for 25 years. “A six-day charrette solved a 25-year impasse over the development of the 19-acre transit station site.”
How Charrettes Are Used to Diffuse Opposition to a Pre-Existing Plan [PDF with emphasis provided] – Also, see Original Source Link
In 2014, 200 residents of the rural town of Rindge, NH were so opposed to zoning changes being suggested for their town by HUD, they not only voted to remove the Charrette material from their Master Plan, but they also voted to ban future membership in any Regional Planning Commission. Further they voted to require that acceptance of any federal grant money would need to be subject to approval by a vote of the taxpayers. Rindge’s ‘Charrettes’ were run by another foundation/NGO, ‘Plan NH‘.
Please continue reading to learn ‘About the TPUDC-LLC‘, a Tennessee company of self-described ‘new urbanists’ which Bedford Planners have hired to oversee the ‘urbanization’ of Bedford.