Technology Planning Toolkit

The April 2010 issue of the Michigan Township News features a cover story by Carlisle|Wortman Associates, Inc.'s John Enos on the importance of including technology in future community plans, ordinances, and regulations. Commissioned by Oakland County, CWA designed a "Technology Planning Toolkit" structured in terms of existing and new planning tools. The Toolkit includes observatons, techniques, and recommendations for communities to use in revising their plans and ordinances to address the role of technology in an increasingly knowledge-based economy. These include: the master plan, zoning ordinance, development regulations and guidelines, plan review and permitting, and the master right-of-way plan. Stipulatons such as "encouraging all new residential development to be broadband-ready" and "encouraging the deployment of technology infrastructure necessary to foster business participating in the knowledge economy" can lay the groundwork for more successful planning and economic development. The Toolkit also covers the benefits of using technology to increase a community's productivity (e.g. by improving outside access to community planning information, procedures, and data). The various tools offer an opportunity to address the impact of technology on land use decisions, and to improve the quality of life within the community. Communities who revise their planning policies to support technology and communication services can strengthen their exsting assets and can position themselves as an attractive location for new businesses and employees to live and work.