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ENGAGING PHILADELPHIA FIRM SELECTED TO COORDINATE SUWANEE’S STRATEGIC PLANNING INITIATIVE

Post Date:03/22/2011

Interface Studio of Philadelphia, a full-service planning and urban design practice founded in 2004, has been selected to coordinate the City of Suwanee’s 20/20 Vision strategic planning initiative.

20/20 Vision is a community-intensive effort to create a long-term, big-picture strategic plan for this award-winning community of about 15,500 people. The City of Suwanee will soon launch community conversations and other community-engagement strategies with the assistance of Interface Studio and its two Atlanta-based partner firms for this project, Market + Main, Inc. and Pond|Ecos.

“We selected a highly qualified team of local and out-of-town talent,” says City Manager Marty Allen. “Interface brings an astounding amount of energy and creativity to public involvement. They proposed an approach that is consistent with our culture and goals.”

In a November 2010 National Citizen Survey, Suwanee residents rated their community number one (compared to a national benchmark of 500 other jurisdictions who utilized the survey) for “the job Suwanee government does at welcoming citizen involvement.” Allen notes that Interface has a proven track record in meeting those kinds of expectations, employing nontraditional, varied, and graphic-intensive strategies to engage the community.

In its proposal, Interface describes its style as approachable, artistic, and playful. The company has relied on several key principles, including being rigorous about data and presentation and listening carefully, in its work on planning initiatives with a variety of cities, including Philadelphia, Chicago, Macon, and Detroit.

“This strategic plan may be the most important thing we’ve undertaken in the past few years,” says Allen. “It will impact the way of life in Suwanee.”
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