UNH Center Releases List
of Top 10 Issues Facing Rapidly Growing Communities in New Hampshire
Contact: Sharon Keeler
UNH Media Relations
January 22, 2004
DURHAM, N.H. - The University of New Hampshire Center for Integrative
Regional Problem Solving (CIRPS), which facilitates ecologically
based approaches for securing quality of life and addressing land
use challenges, has released its list of the top 10 issues facing
rapidly growing communities in New Hampshire.
The list, culled from the input and expertise of stakeholders
throughout the state - including citizens, conservation commissioners
and other municipal decision-makers, scientists, conservationists
and economists - will lay the foundation for the center's future
work and give guidance to communities dealing with growth issues.
The top 10 list, developed in collaboration with UNH Cooperative
Extension, includes the following key priorities:
- Determining economic impacts of land use choices, including
cost/access to services, taxation and financing education;
- Preserving New England character, including sense of community;
- Exploring growth management strategies and model ordinances
for natural resource protection - what works, what doesn't;
- Conserving the best open space through nonregulatory options;
- Sustaining economic base without losing quality of life;
- Creating housing that is affordable and includes developer
- Creating adequate transportation services and systems;
- Ensuring surface and groundwater protection;
- Encouraging collaboration within communities and with the region,
- Participating in expedient leadership training of community
Debby Hinman, of the Acworth Conservation Commission, says the
CIRPS top ten list comes at the ideal time. “Our master plan
update survey has just been tabulated and this reflects our findings
quite accurately. We are a small town of 850 folks but have seen
more growth in the last 10 years than had been expected.”
CIRPS spent last year engaged with citizens and decision-makers
throughout the state so that “it could get as much input as
possible to develop this list of priorities and pursue other related
goals,” says CIRPS Director Amy Seif. “We feel confident
that it reflects the most important issues facing rapidly growing
The top 10 list she says, will most immediately help CIRPS develop
its Web-based resource clearinghouse -- a goal that developed out
if its 2003 “Voices of Communities Experiencing Rapid Change
Symposium.” The purpose of the clearinghouse is to provide
people access to the resources that directly assist with these issues.
For example, resources will include scientific papers, and links
to agencies and programs.
For more information on the CIRPS top 10 list, including organizations
involved in its development, visit: http://www.unh.edu/cirps/toptenlist.html.
For more information, contact Amy Seif at 603-862-4650.