Government and Public


State of Alabama and Honda Manufacturing of Alabama. Lincoln, Alabama

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When the Town of Lincoln, Alabama was chosen as a location for a new Honda Motor Company plant, the Alabama state government retained Kent to assist Lincoln officeholders in preparing for significant planning and social changes that would occur as a result.

On behalf of the State, Kent analyzed planning challenges, traffic issues and changes in social fabric, crime and quality of living in municipalities where comparable automobile manufacturing facilities were located at that time. (Honda facilities in Marysville, Ohio; Smyrna, Georgia and Anna, Ohio and the first Saturn plant in Union County, Tennessee).

After compiling this initial data, Kent arranged meetings between government officials in Marysville, Ohio and Maury County, Tennessee and their Lincoln counterparts to share this information and their experiences first-hand.

Kent then created recommendations for the Lincoln officials addressing projected planning and social impacts to their town (a) during construction of the plant (approximately 3 years), and (b) after the plant began operations with permanent autoworker employees.

Those recommendations were followed by a report and recommendations for the creation of a masterplan for the City of Lincoln and its surrounding area.

http://www.hondaalabama.com



Kent received a commendation from the Governor of the State of Alabama for dedication and professionalism as advisor to the Alabama Commerce Commission.



Metropolis 2020. Chicago, Illinois (Pro Bono)

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Chicago Metropolis 2020 is an organization of leading civic and business leaders addressing optimal regional planning, infrastructure and other investments to carry Daniel Burnham’s 1909 Plan of Chicago forward into the 21st century.

Kent created recommendations for the president/chief executive officer and select staff concerning:

  • Review and critique of organization marketing materials
  • Refining the vision and mission
  • Defining and strengthening the region
  • Creating new supporting marketing materials
  • Demographic and psychographic research
  • Public relations and community outreach techniques and tools

http://www.chicagometropolis2020.org



State of Alabama. Department of Conservation and Natural Resources

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The State of Alabama passed a $110,000,000 bond issue to rehabilitate their state park system.  Kent was a member of a design and development team working with the State Park Director and management to analyze the existing park system and recommend changes and improvements.

As part of his participation, Kent identified applications from the Florida State Park system that was voted the best state park system in 2000 and 2005 by the National Recreation and Park Association, making it the only two-time winner of the National Gold Medal for state parks.

Applications from Florida to the Alabama system included:

  • Identifying how funds and management were apportioned to maximize operations
  • Techniques for raising capital by means of public/private partnerships

Additionally, Kent created:

  • A design template for the redesign of each Alabama park within the system
  • A vision and design program for Gulf State Park, the largest gulf front park within the Alabama system

http://www.alapark.com


Kent received a commendation from the Governor of the State of Alabama for dedication and professionalism as advisor to the Alabama Commerce Commission.



Loreto Bay. Baja California Sur, Mexico

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Loreto Bay, a public/private partnership involving the Mexican government, was acknowledged for its pioneering urbanistic and conservation efforts. Pedestrian-oriented neighborhoods, vernacular adobe residences and significant energy management and water protection practices were made a part of the masterplan. The sales process at that time included considerable investment in a series of launches introducing prospective purchasers in Southern California to sales operations in Scottsdale, Arizona and Mexico.

Kent observed and critiqued a launch and presentation process for the development group resulting in approximately $12,000,000 of sales.


“We so loved having you at the Launch. I need you and your expertise to help us with the story and the training. This would be a great time to do that. Your talks at Loreto Bay were brilliant and we should have videoed the whole thing…I believe we could be much better at telling the story of who we are and the how and why of what we do. You made a number of insightful remarks when you were there...”  David Butterfield, Founder

“It was a great pleasure to meet you again…I asked David if he did intend to involve you and he said he did…such would be a smart move without doubt…”  Ed Tait, President Canadian Development and Construction Services, LTD, Loreto Bay



Downtown Riverfront Masterplan. Montgomery, Alabama

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A substantial parcel of downtown riverfront in Alabama’s capital was vacant and Montgomery city leaders were pursuing development of a minor league baseball stadium for the site.

Kent participated with a planning team to create a masterplan for the riverfront weaving multiple developments (the baseball stadium, civic structures, gathering areas, retail, and residential neighborhoods) into a collection of pedestrian-oriented walkable communities.

Kent's contributions included creating written programmatic recommendations for refining and expanding the plan to address the roles of planning elements as platforms for day-to-day social and cultural interaction.


“I am keenly interested in a plan that will add vitality to Alabama’s capital city for generations and act as a catalyst to further continued private development in the downtown area. To this end, the state has an interest in directing certain funds toward this project, depending upon its overall scope and plan. I would like to recommend:

  • That the riverfront planning incorporate this stadium within the context of a larger, comprehensive, development master plan; and
  • That this master plan incorporate a mixed-use, diverse collection of shops, entertainment, hotels, offices, restaurants and residential uses.

Further, I would hope that Christopher Kent be included as a part of the planning and development team to provide outside, specific and needed expertise for this project. I am impressed with his knowledge and enthusiasm and believe he can be of great value in this process.”  Don Siegelman, Governor, State of Alabama

CAKPA received a commendation from the Governor of the State of Alabama for dedication and professionalism as advisor to the Alabama Commerce Commission.

 

West Flanders. Belgium

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Kent consulted representatives for a branch of the Belgian government (Intermunicipal Associations for Housing Policy, Economic Expansion and Physical Planning) addressing affordable housing programs for the province.

Consulting included strategies for creating public/private partnerships between private developers and government agencies.



Ft. Meade. Florida

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A planning and architectural firm asked Kent to assist the envisioning and creation of a masterplan for annexation of approximately twelve hundred acres into an existing central Florida small town.

The new vision and plan provided for significant growth while respecting the existing context and social fabric of the original town.



Redevelopment within Central City. New Orleans, Louisiana (Pro Bono)

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Kent consulted with preservationists, property owners, community leaders and planners to define a grocery market and it’s positioning within the historic urban fabric of Central City.


"As an attorney and consultant, I have practiced land use law in the State of Louisiana since 1965. In that capacity, I have represented individuals and corporations in varying capacities, with an emphasis on impacting the land use planning process at all levels of government. On behalf of clients I have successfully opposed an Interstate highway through the Vieux Carre, an elevated six-lane bridge through Uptown New Orleans, sponsored the creation of Canal Street as an historic district, represented land owners in numerous expropriation lawsuits, and challenged large scale super stores surrounded by surface parking planned for National Register Districts. I taught preservation law and land use planning at the University of New Orleans’s College of Urban and Public Planning for approximately 10 years and have lectured on land use issues at varying professional conferences around the country…“

I came to know Mr. Kent’s expertise firsthand while representing citizens opposed to an out of scale Albertson’s Supermarket proposed for a historic district adjacent to St. Charles Avenue in New Orleans. Mr. Kent’s extensive knowledge of traditional land use issues was readily apparent and his public testimony as well as his sage advice assisted my clients in getting the store moved as well as redesigned.”  William E. Borah, Attorney and Counselor at Law, New Orleans, Louisiana

“…Chris Kent – one of the most interesting people I have ever met…”  Virginia McAlester, Co-Author of A Field Guide to American Houses



Commerce Commission. State of Alabama (Pro Bono)

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Kent worked with the Commerce Commission to address growth management:

  • Report and recommendations for the Land Planning Committee of the Commerce Commission to manage future growth
  • Lecture and presentation to the Commerce Commission (Programming and Masterplanning to Mitigate Urban Sprawl)
  • Lecture and presentation at a Governor’s Conference on Smart Growth and Brownfields Redevelopment Conference (The Practical Side of Smart Growth - a Developers Primer)


Kent received a commendation from the Governor of the State of Alabama for dedication and professionalism as advisor to the Alabama Commerce Commission.


Mississippi Blues Trail. Greenwood, Mississippi (Pro Bono)

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Early in the process of planning the trail, Kent was consulted regarding general structure and execution:

  • Meeting with representatives of the B.B. King museum to determine how the museum could participate with other trail venues
  • Creating a series of recommendations to enhance the trail experience by means of thoughtful physical development, performance programming, educational outreach and economic viability

http://www.msbluestrail.org


“We certainly enjoyed having you with us and, once again, so very much appreciate your willingness to take the time to visit and to provide some assistance for our project…”  Fred Carl, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Viking Range Corporation and past Mississippi Blues Chairman



Town of Placilla. Republic of Chile (Pro Bono)

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Placilla was envisioned to become a new affordable community in the periphery of the port of Valparaiso offering opportunities for science, employment, transportation, business, shopping, leisure and housing while acting as a portal to Valparaiso Metropolitan Areas.

Kent provided written information addressing envisioning and marketing strategies.


"I was very glad to receive your paper…I enjoyed reading the “Heroic Plaza”…It holds many ideas…especially in what we define as the most humane and significant values of cities as public spaces of interaction, knowledge and growth."  Gustavo Munizaga, Municipal Development Department, Santiago, Chile


 

Apalachicola Bay Chamber of Commerce. Apalachicola, Florida (Pro Bono)

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Lecture and presentation addressing envisioning, planning and preservation for this historic North Florida town.


“Just wanted to thank you for speaking at our last Chamber meeting…It was a great program and presentation…Thank you also for your honest and frank comments on how we can improve Apalachicola. I am happy to announce that bids are now being accepted for a gazebo and other improvements to Lafayette Park. It’s a great start to establishing our common ground…”  Mason Bean, Apalachicola Bay Chamber of Commerce



Department of Community Affairs. State of Florida (Pro Bono)

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Contributed to the production of a video (Breaking the Cycle: How Hazard Mitigation Can End the Costly Repetition of Devastation and Rebuilding) presented to The Governor’s Hurricane Conference and Regional Post Disaster Redevelopment Workshops.  Douglas Bucks, Division Director, State of Florida Department of Community Affairs

 

Falmouth Forum. State of Alabama (Pro Bono)

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Presentation and lecture (Presentation of the Community; a Psychological Dialogue) to a Falmouth Forum sponsored by the State of Alabama.

 

 

Ft. Walton Beach Bridge Authority. Ft. Walton Beach, Florida (Pro Bono)

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Presentation to a transportation committee addressing revitalizing their existing downtown.

 

“Your words, your tone of voice, the content of your message – will all bear fruit with this area as we move into the next stage of action. It took a while for folks present at the “Transportation Meeting” to get in step with your observations and recommendations – but I was relieved to witness that they caught on – now they understand …that it is all one big whole and one part without the other doesn’t get the job done…”  Laura Wright, Transportation Committee Member

“I can’t tell you when I’ve enjoyed listening to someone speak that is so well informed. I really appreciate you coming before our committee. We should all be able to put things in the proper perspective…”  Peggy Wise, Transportation Committee Member

 

Historic Post Office. Pt. Washington, Florida (Pro Bono)

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Assisted an architectural firm and local volunteers pursuing protection of a historic local post office in Northwest Florida.