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Community Planning Assessments to Continue through August

Next Focus Groups Start Monday, April 19/A New Way of Engaging Communities in Long Range Planning

The City of Albuquerque Planning Department will host a series of focus groups from April 19-30 on topics important to residents and business owners in the Near Heights – an area bounded by Interstate 40 to the north, Interstate 25 to the west, the Sunport/KAFB to the south, and Wyoming to the east. These community conversations are an important part of the City’s Community Planning Area (CPA) Assessments – a new way of engaging communities in long-range planning.

A team of City planners has been working with staff from many departments and agencies to address how to leverage the area’s assets and capitalize on opportunities to improve the community based on priorities the community shared in February and March.

This planning effort involves working with communities in each of the City’s 12 Community Planning Areas to assess trends, identify unique characteristics, prioritize community recommendations, and produce an action plan that will foster positive changes. This new 5-year cycle of assessments is designed so that all areas of the city benefit from community planning on a regular basis.

“Albuquerque is growing, with nearly $1 billion in new construction planned or underway in major projects alone,” said Brennon Williams, Albuquerque Planning Director. “As we work to make our city more inclusive, safer, and more sustainable, our Planning Department is positioned to help our city progress while sustaining our unique character and engaging neighborhoods in the process.”

The Community Planning Areas were first mapped by participants in a community identity planning effort in the late 1990s and adopted in the Comprehensive Plan in the early 2000s. These planning areas were updated in the ABC Comprehensive Plan in 2017 to better match Census tracts and include new areas of growth. A map showing the areas, neighborhood associations, and Council districts is available on the project website: https://www.cabq.gov/cpa.

The Long-Range planning team will complete three CPA assessments each year for four years. The first assessment started with the Near Heights in February. Another began in March in the Southwest Mesa. The third will start in August in central Albuquerque.

In the fifth year, the Long-Range team will update the Comprehensive Plan with policy recommendations from these assessments. After the Comp Plan update in 2025, a new cycle of assessments will begin. The first cycle of assessments will set community goals and benchmarks that will be used in the next cycle of assessments to measure progress. This ongoing, proactive planning process is intended to provide a transparent, open, inclusive forum for community members that uses City resources equitably and efficiently. The assessment cycle is a significant improvement over the disconnected and reactive planning methods of the past, which mostly benefited well-connected and well-resourced areas. 

"The CPA assessment process is an opportunity to engage individuals and communities that have historically been excluded from the planning process. Our team is committed to an equitable approach to this work, which will benefit all Albuquerque neighborhoods and communities," said Planning Department Deputy Director James M. Aranda.

The long-range team is using new community-based methods for outreach that allow multiple opportunities for input and engagement that are safe during COVID-19. The assessments respond to the community’s priorities through an iterative process of listening, developing recommended actions, and cultivating commitments from departments/agencies, institutions and organizations for future change.

To learn more and find out when the Long-Range Team will be visiting your area, visit the website: https://www.cabq.gov/cpa.

For a full list of topics and details on dates and times, visit the project website: https://cpa.abc-zone.com/near-heights-public-engagement.

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