An innovative process was used by citizens
ROBERT STEUTEVILLE    MAR. 1, 1999
An innovative process was used by citizens in the town of Palmer, Alaska, to create a new urbanist town plan. A citizens group called Parks, Arts, Recreation, Culture and Sport (PARCS) raised money to fund a 10-day design charette with architecture professor Philip Bess and students from Andrews University, in Michigan, who later completed the plan as part of their studio work. Bess is the son of PARCS member Howard Bess. Although the town has not legally adopted the plan, it has created a great deal of interest, especially with local developers planning to build in downtown Palmer. One of Bess’s students brought the plan to the attention of Clark Township, his north Michigan hometown, and Bess created a neotraditional town plan there under similar conditions. Andrews University is one of a handful of universities nationwide that focuses on neotraditional design.