What Citizens Can Do
Ready to take action in your community to prevent or curb sprawl? Want to keep and enhance your town’s character and most valued attributes - while ensuring future development and growth results in livable neighborhoods, healthy natural resources and green spaces, and vital centers of community life and business? Remember that smarter growth will result when all involved- developers, landowners, local boards and officials, and neighbors and citizens - take a constructive approach, respectful of each others’ concerns and the long-term interests of the community. Start with these steps to chart a course for smarter development in your town or city.
- Become active in local government to help make positive choices for development.
- Conduct a visual assessment of what’s in your town or city.
- Consider as a community and articulate the vision and goals for the town’s future.
- Review the town’s policies and regulations to see if they are consistent with the vision and goals.
- Seek and consider alternatives or changes to policies and goals as needed, so that they will bring about the desired outcomes.
- Educate members of the community about the reasons for the recommended policy and regulatory changes, and effect the required changes.
- Collaborate as a community to work with residents, planners, developers, businesses, and community officials for more desirable development results.
- Find ways to combine development with preservation of open space lands and cultural resources.
- Cooperate with neighboring communities on issues and developments of common interest and shared impact.
The Essential New Hampshire: Citizen Responsibility and the Living Landscape
People are attracted to New Hampshire by the opportunity to be independent - only to discover that independence requires a community effort, reported the Governor’s Commission on the 21st Century in 1991. This "New Hampshire paradox" underlies ’the New Hampshire way’ - local control demands local responsibility, people working together. Growth requires us to come together within our communities, and across communities within a region, to take responsibility for our future. "As New Hampshire grows," concluded the Commission on the 21st Century, "our sense of mutual dependence must become as strong as our independence, or we will lose both." In the Commission’s community planning initiatives and public forums throughout the state, citizens voiced strong beliefs in citizen responsibility, and attachments to the living landscape.