70+ communities participate in Foundation for Puerto Rico-sponsored workshop
Representatives of some 70 communities in Puerto Rico participated in a recent workshop, titled “Toward participatory and inclusive planning,” which was organized to establish methods, strategies and best practices that promote effective planning within the communities.
The event was sponsored by the Foundation for Puerto Rico (FPR) through the Whole Community Resilience Planning Program (WCRP), which is a project developed by the Puerto Rico government and funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
This is the first of several workshops planned for community leaders and program subrecipients, the nonprofit confirmed.
Among the WCRP program subrecipients that attended the first workshop were the Coalition of Coalitions, Fundación Agenda Ciudadana, Hispanic Federation, IBTS, National Main Street Center, One Stop Career Center, Para La Naturaleza, PECES Inc., University of Puerto Rico’s Mayagüez campus, Interamerican University, Vitrina Solidaria, Sacred Heart University, and the municipalities of Toa Baja, Camuy, Isabela and Jayuya.
“Carrying out a participatory planning process in which actions are identified and prioritized to increase community resilience is vital,” said Soledad Gaztambide, chief officer of the WCRP Program. “With this and other workshops that we will be carrying out, we seek to provide tools and promote dialogues that strengthen planning in the communities.”
She emphasized the need for communities, especially the most vulnerable ones, to participate in planning processes and become and feel prepared to face the adverse impacts of increasingly common natural events and climate change.
“Today, we can say that, although we’re in the first phase, through this program, we will have more prepared, strengthened and resilient communities, and that all parties will learn more about the challenges and multiple benefits of facilitating participatory processes,” Gaztambide said.
The event received support from Interamerican University of Puerto Rico’s Metro Campus, which provided the meeting space, and concluded with a plenary session during which the responses and conclusions of each worktable were discussed to reach solutions that promote participation and inclusion in the development of community plans.
Officials said that all the topics discussed in the workshop will be compiled in a report that will be delivered to all program participants.
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