The Five Strategic Points of Intervention

PAS QuickNotes 31

By William Klein, FAICP


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This edition of PAS QuickNotes provides a primer of five strategic points of intervention in the local planning system, the points where participants translate ideas into intentions and intentions into actions.


Page Count
Date Published
April 1, 2011
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American Planning Association

About the Author

William Klein, FAICP
<p>Mr. Klein has 43 years of experience as a planning consultant, a planning director, and as APA&#39;s research director.&nbsp;This work brought him into close contact with the real world challenges that planners face every day in cities, towns,&nbsp;counties, and regions across the country.&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>Director of Research and Advisory Services</strong></p><p><strong><a href="">American Planning Association</a></strong></p><p><strong><a href="">1991 &ndash; 2013 </a>&nbsp;</strong><strong><a href="">(22 yrs</a>)</strong></p><p>Mr. Klein&#39;s 22-year tenure as APA&#39;s Research Director gave him a national perspective on best practices in urban and regional planning, sustainable development, community resilience, and smart growth. He provided overall supervision for the Planning Advisory Service, which during his tenure served many hundreds of planning agencies and consultants across the country. PAS provides technical assistance and best practices information through an inquiry answer service, policy briefs for lay officials, topical information packets, newsletters, and the well-respected PAS report series of best practices manuals. During this time he supervised a staff of 10 to 20 professionals on over 80 sponsored research projects involving over $17 million in outside funding. He supervised the managers of APA&#39;s Green Communities Research Center, the Planning and Community Health Research Center, and the Hazards Research Center--all components of the National Centers for Planning. Mr. Klein developed and ran the New Directors Institute and Managers Institute offered at APA&#39;s National Planning Conference each April. He also co-managed the Big City Planning Directors Institute with the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy and the Harvard Graduate School of Design. Mr. Klein was the Executuve Editor of Planning and Urban Design Standards, published by John Wiley &amp; Sons, arguably the most definitive, comprehensive sourcebook on planning practice in the U.S. He was responsible for securing funding for and overall direction of the City Parks Forum, a $2.5 million effort to educate mayors of middle-sized cities about city parks, and the Growing Smart Project, a seven-year, $2.5 million effort to develop a guidebook on how best to modernize the state statutes that govern how planning is undertaken in the U.S.see less</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>Loeb Fellow</strong></p><p><strong><a href="">Harvard Graduate School of Design</a></strong></p><p><strong><a href="">1990 &ndash; 1991</a>&nbsp;(1yr)</strong></p><p><strong><a href="">Cambridge, Massachusetts</a></strong></p><p>Mr. Klein was awarded a Loeb Fellowship in Advanced Environmental Studies at Harvard&#39;s Graduate School of Design, which he undertook full-time for the academic year 1990-91. While at Harvard, he engaged in independent study and audited classes in the Law School, the Kennedy School of Government, the GSD, and at MIT--both in and outside his field. He developed important and meaningful professional and personal relationships with faculty and current and past Loeb Fellows.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>Director</strong></p><p><strong><a href="">Nantucket Planning &amp; Economic Development Commission</a></strong></p><p><strong><a href="">1974 &ndash; 1991 (17) yrs</a></strong></p><p><a href=""><strong>Nantucket Islan</strong>d</a></p><p>For 17 years Mr. Klein was director of one of Massachusetts&rsquo; 13 regional planning agencies, a county and town located 30 miles at sea due south of Cape Cod. During those years, Nantucket Island experienced rampant growth due to second home development as a result of its popularity as a summer resort. It&#39;s year-round population faced serious problems of housing affordability, jobs, infrastructure, and cost of living. It was, and still is, a place with extremely fragile natural, historic, and human resources. Mr. Klein ran an aggressive community engagement process that resulted in a number of nationally-recognized and innovative implementation tools. He developed and implemented the Nantucket Sound Islands Land Bank Act--first-of-its-kind state legislation empowering an elected Land Bank Commission to shape the settlement pattern, protect fragile environmental resources, and provide public access to the shore. Funded by a two percent real estate transfer tax, the measure has raised over half&nbsp;a billion dollars to date for open space preservation. Mr. Klein was also responsible for the initial planning of the Island&#39;s first-ever bus service, a shore-to-shore bike path system, and substantial improvements to the community&#39;s services and facilities, public sewerage, affordable housing, aquifer protection, and growth management systems. Mr. Klein left this position to pursue a Loeb Fellowship in Advanced Environmental Studies at Harvard&#39;s Graduate School of Design.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p><strong>Director of Community Development</strong></p><p><strong><a href="">Local Government Research Corporation</a></strong></p><p><strong><a href="">1969 &ndash; 1974 (5 yrs</a>)</strong></p><p><strong><a href="">State College, Pennsylvania</a></strong></p><p>As a planning consultant with LGR, Mr. Klein directly assisted municipalities, councils of government, and counties in preparing plans, impact studies, and growth management tools, such as zoning, subdivision ordinances, and planned unit development ordinances, throughout Pennsylvania. He was also assigned to teams working on multi-county solid waste management plans, park and recreation plans, school bus routing, and nuclear power plant impoundment area planning. This was Mr. Klein&#39;s first job right out of graduate school and it proved to be formative. Almost everything that he learned about tackling the unknown and saying yes to the impossible happened because of being thrown into the deep end of the pool at LGR. He found himself directing a community development staff of five when he was in his early twenties. After five years with LGR learning an incredible amount on the job--and driving 40,000 miles a year--Mr. Klein thought it was time to go public.</p>