Community Planning

Farnam Associates has extensive experience in supporting complex, multi-party community planing processes aimed at community improvement.

After heading the City’s Office of Downtown and Harbor Development where he guided comprehensive planing for the harbor area and downtown, Jim Farnam lead a series of major planning efforts in New Haven and Connecticut over the years.

Prominent examples of these efforts include:

At Holt, Welxer & Farnam, LLP (1989-2010):

  • Fighting Back (1992): Jim helped the leadership of this Robert Wood Johnson Foundation funded community coalition against substance abuse to reconeptualize their entire community-based approach in order to save the foundation funding.
  • New Haven Enterprise Community (1994): Farnam facilitated the preparation of the comprehensive plan to reduce poverty in the six poorest neighborhoods, working with six Community Management Teams and a host of City and community partners. IN addition, he prepared the successful application for designation as an Enterprise Community by the federal government under the Clinton administration’s flagship urban initiative.
  • New Haven Empowerment Zone (1998): Four years after the Enterprise Community success, the City of New Haven retained HWF under Farnam’s lead to prepare a more detailed strategic plan to turn around these same six neighborhoods and an application for $100 million in federal funds over 10 years and $263 million in tax exempt bonding capacity. New Haven secure done of 11 awards in the nation, beating out Denver and other large cities.
  • Early Childhood Partners (2005-07): Farnam worked with the Department of Public Health under an Early Childhood Comprehensive Systems grant to facilitate a multi-partner planning process to conceptualize an integrated system of supports for very young children and their family.  This evolved into roles supporting the Early Childhood Research and Policy Council established by the governor and the work group developing the Quality Rating and Improvement System for early care and education.

At Farnam Associates,LLC:

  •   Meriden Promise Neighborhood(2011): Farnam helped Meriden Children First secure a highly competitive Promise Neighborhood Planing Grant from the U.S. Department of Education based on a comprehensive cradle-to-career continuum of services aimed at improving education and economic outcomes for children in the poorest neighborhood in Meriden, Connecticut.
  • New Haven City Transformation Plan(2014-16): Farnam facilitated the community planning process to create a plan to transform the City of New Haven into a city of opportunity, health, and safety.  THe plan was released in JAnuary 2016.  A highlight of the process was a Citywide Expo held in July 2015 and attended by over 350 community leaders and residents to review the 21 detailed posters that explained the plan and its rationale. At each poster stood representatives of the Work Groups that had crafted that section of the plan.  The content of the plan was the basis for two attempts to be designated a federal Promise Zone in 2014 and 2016.