I had the distinct pleasure last October of participating in the Community Matters conference hosted by the Orton Family Foundation (click here for my blogging from the conference) and was fortunate enough to be able to engage with the Orton group numerous times subsequent to this gathering. Their focus on small towns is close to my heart and I really value the approach that they take.

I wanted to take some space on our off day to pass along a new initiative they have launched called PlanIt X. It is a planning tool exchange - the kind of thing that many of us have wanted at numerous times in our careers but have not been able to locate. Here is how they describe it:

Do you need new tools and methods to liven up your community planning process? Are you looking for examples of other towns that successfully engaged citizens? Help is on the way.

We’re proud to launch the Planning Tool Exchange, a new, free, community driven site designed to help people find and share resources for community planning and civic engagement. The site—called PlanIt X for short—includes ToolsOrganizations, Projects and Resources, and like Wikipedia, anyone can create an entry or edit existing entries.

The site is already home to more than 300 resources to help residents discover common values, make better choices, and take action to build a brighter future.

Check out some of our favorites, such as the Acton OpenNeighborhood Project, the EngagingPlans platform, HeartSpots, the NCDD Resource Center and the Center for Digital Storytelling.

PlanIt X entries are written by you and for you; all contributions, edits, comments and improvements come directly from our users. We’ll continue adding features and improving functionality in the coming months, but we need your contributions to have this resource operate at its fullest potential.

So pay a visit to PlanIt X and explore... Browse. Contribute. Add your town’s story or a great project you’re working on. Link to a resource you love. Comment, edit, tell us what you think, and of course, spread the  good word.

I love this initiative. Check it out, use what works for you and contribute where you can. And thank you to the Orton group for a fantastic platform.


News Digest under development....