Lafayette Central Park Inc., a local nonprofit charged with turning the Horse Farm property into a public park, announced Monday that it has entered into an agreement with the Urban Land Institute to develop an independent and transparent process for soliciting and enlisting broad community input in the programming of the park.

ULI, an independent global nonprofit, is a well recognized source for providing leadership in the responsible use of land and in creating and sustaining thriving communities.

“ULI is simply the platinum standard for excellence in land use and development,” Lafayette Central Park Chairman Lenny Lemoine said in a press release announcing the agreement. “It is essential to have both significant and broad input from the community regarding what they would like to see incorporated in the park. We could not have found anyone better than the Institute to formulate a process for obtaining this critical input.”

The scope of the ULI agreement does not include nor is it meant to include the implementation of the programming process, according to the release. It is meant to focus all attention at this stage on the development and articulation of the best process for obtaining the Lafayette community’s desires with respect to the programming of the property. This first step is to determine what the community wants to see on the property. After this programming phase is completed, an extensive master planning process will ensue to determine how and where the programming will be implemented on the property, the release notes.

ULI has committed a seven-person advisory service team to develop the recommendation for the programming process.

The team will include:

Tom Murphy – who will serve as the chairman of the team.
Murphy served three terms as the mayor of Pittsburgh.  Since January 2006, Murphy had served as ULI’s Gulf Coast liaison, helping to coordinate with the leadership of New Orleans and the public to advance the implementation of rebuilding recommendations made by ULI’s advisory services panel last fall. In addition, he worked with the Louisiana state leadership, as well as with leadership in hurricane-impacted areas in Mississippi, Alabama and Florida to identify areas appropriate for ULI involvement.  Murphy serves as one of seven ULI Senior Resident Fellows.

Three additional team members will be identified by ULI shortly.

Prior to making its final recommendation for the programming process, the ULI team will conduct interviews with a broad cross section of the community from June 10 through June 13. The details for such interviews are being worked through at this time.

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