Whether a building is repaired, improved, or demolished is not something that should be left solely to government bureaucrats or outside consultants. The residents and businesses must be involved in the process that determines the future of their homes, businesses, and neighborhoods. A participatory planning process is needed to ensure that all locally important factors are considered when decisions are made about whether a building or block is repaired or replaced. Factors such as the structure’s historic value, the desires of the owners, and people’s ties to others in the neighborhood are best understood by the people who live in the community.
The result should be neighborhood redevelopment plans that identify which areas have buildings appropriate for restoration, which areas have buildings that should be demolished and rebuilt, and which areas should be cleared and redeveloped or maintained as open space.
- The references listed in Step 5 include guidance on involving the public in a planning process. See pages 12 – 19 in FEMA’s Example Plans document.
- There’s lots of guidance on mitigation and target area planning on FEMA’s planning website.