CAMDEN — The Village of Camden is working with a group of Miami University students to develop a Camden Downtown Enhancement Plan. The mock consulting firm met with a group of concerned Camden citizens on Wednesday, March 6, to brainstorm ideas for the potential plan.
The students are in a class called Geography 459: Advanced Urban and Regional Planning, which is taught by Geography Professor David Prytherch.
“Students at Miami learn about planning and part of learning planning is by doing planning. What we try to do is engage students in real world challenges and places, particularly in the area. Our students are getting the opportunity to apply their skills in a place that is, maybe, looking for a vision for the future,” Prytherch explained.
“It is partly a learning experience for the students, but it is a real planning process for Camden. What we want is for the students to have real world experience by doing real world planning.”
During the meeting, the students gave a presentation on the structure of their product. Then, they broke those in attendance into two groups to complete brainstorming activities. Participants were asked to identify phrases they associate with Camden, phrases they want to be associated with Camden, strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and challenges in Camden. They were also asked for any comments, ideas, or questions.
“This project — the students run it like a consulting firm. They write the proposal, do the presentation, facilitate the process, and write the plan. It is very valuable for them, but people’s time is valuable as well. I really want it to actually make a difference in a place like Camden,” Prytherch said. “It is a semester-long project. They will deliver a plan by the middle of May. The students will go and everyone in Camden will still be here. The plan gets everyone in Camden a little closer to their goals.”
According to Prytherch, the drafted plan will be presented in a meeting at the end of April.
Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH