12.05.2008

Everyone in One Room

As a consultant, it's easy to get lazy and make blanket statements
like "the City should do X," leaving to someone else to figure out how
an entity within three dozen departments, hundreds of senior-level
managers, thousands of regulations, and billions of budget dollars is
supposed to somehow act in such a monolithic and unified way.
Slightly less lazy is the equally naive statement, "everyone from the
City that is involved in Issue X or Project X should just get into one
room and work it all out," like that would ever be logistically
possible.

But every once in awhile, you actually do get everyone in one room.
Alan Greenberger, the new head of the City's planning department, has
commendably instituted periodic presentations by local developers in
front of pretty much every department and entity that will need to
have interface to get a particular project off the ground. And this
morning, the project in question was one near and dear to my heart:
the Plaza at Enterprise Heights, which is near where I live, and being
advanced by the organization on whose board I currently serve.

And sure enough, in the room all at the same time were manifold City
and other agencies that will need to be coordinated with in order for
this project to become reality. In no particular order: Commerce,
Streets, Water, Fire, Licenses & Inspections, PIDC, PGW, Verizon,
PECO, and I'm probably missing a few. Needless to say, it was a
productive gathering; and, to the extent that it is going to be a
habit to meet like this, this bodes well for more good stuff getting
done in a more coordinated and expeditious manner in the City.

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