The power of Marketing coupled with Planning

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There is an incredible amount of outreach and education that coincides with the planning industry as a whole.  The marketing industry has changed considerably due to the internet and social media.  The planning industry has been a bit slow to catch on to Continue reading

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Potential Sustainable Funding Programs 2015

Funding Icon

Funding Icon

Sites that are Government/Federal/Regional/State funded:

Group 7 of goal area outreach and implementation has compiled a list of relevant, readily available funding programs that Claremont can participate in order to reach its sustainability goals.

THESE SITES CONSTANTLY UPDATE, SO THERE MIGHT BE CHANGES

CONTINUE READING TO OBSERVE ENTIRE LIST Continue reading

Green Awards Program Update: Ready for Implementation

Since the last time that we posted an update, we have finished preparing much of the material needed to launch the yearly Green Awards Program.

The vision for the Green Awards Program to to give special recognition for businesses that have performed exceedingly well in terms of meeting sustainability guidelines every year.  Businesses are given both a short-form checklist, and a long-form detailed guidelines of sustainability measures they can implement.  Businesses that meet minimum sustainability requirements will qualify as a green business, and receive a window decal.

The Checklist

Businesses will be provided a one page checklist to complete.  This checklist was designed to be very simple and fast to complete.  Each item that is checked off are assigned a weighted score.  When the checklist is completed, the total scores are tallied up.  If the business meets or exceeds the 80% threshold score, then the business qualifies as a “Green Business” for each year.  Checklist items that are not relevant to the business could be checked off as complete.

Some businesses may decide to go further to adopt sustainability practices.  That is exactly why a longer form guidelines checklist was created.  There are three versions of the guidelines: Office/Retail, Restaurant, and Automotive.  The long form guidelines vary in length, but are generally about 6-7 pages long.  It provides a breakdown of the many things a business could do to increase sustainable practice adoption.  For example, the 1 page quick checklist has an item that references recycling, but the long form checklist adds components about composting.  The intention is that some businesses will show strong participation in the Green Awards Program, and use the long form checklist.   The long form checklist will help identify which businesses will receive the Green Awards every year in June.

The Guide

It’s important to be sustainable.  However, that’s not always easy.  Thus, our group created a quick guide to being sustainable.  The guide covers all major areas of the quick checklist.  The guide discusses why being sustainable is important, how to be sustainable, and resources a business could use to be sustainable.  They are meant to be separated by page so that a business owner and quickly find information they are interested in.

The Decal

Our group has created a window decal that showcases every qualifying green business.  The decal is simple, yet recognizable for its purpose.  It is meant to easily convey information quickly to a pedestrian passerby.

How to Implement

In June 2015, our group will be handing off our work to the City of Claremont Chamber of Commerce.  The Chamber of Commerce has been very supportive of the Green Awards Program.  After handing off the work, the Chamber of Commerce will be in charge of implementing this program.  The first thing to do, is to designate someone that will manage the program.  Someone will need to print materials and send information to businesses.  The Chamber of Commerce will have to decide how to enforce eligibility as a Green Business and a Green Awards Program winner.  Will this be a honor system where businesses report their eligibility back to the Chamber of Commerce?  Or will this be set up where either customers and/or a Chamber of Commerce representative will come by businesses to evaluate the business?

It is recommended that a web page be set up detailing the program mechanics to both the public and to the business owners.  Major marketing materials has been created and is ready for easy implementation for the years to come.

Further Information

Our group TAAMS have written an extensive report that covers the entire project undertaking.  The report covers background info, precedents, category criteria, checklists, the map directory, window display decal, and the guide.  Further detail is located throughout this blog.  This blog has resourceful information about sustainability pertinent to the City of Claremont.  It is useful not only to business owners, but also to customers.

Looking Ahead 

It has been an incredible experience working on this project.  As students at the Cal Poly Pomona Urban and Regional Planning program, we have enjoyed working on this a lot.  We dedicated a lot of time into making sure the Green Awards Program can be implemented in reality.  We understand it’s importance; It helps the City of Claremont’s chance of winning future awards and grants, it also makes an positive impact on the environment.  Claremont is an amazing place to live, learn, and do business; we look forwards to seeing the future where this program is implemented.

Target Marketing Using GIS

CASE STUDY

“A target market is, at its most basic, simply the market or submarket – such as a segment at which the firm aims its marketing message” (Cahill, 1997). Every business ranging from a doctor’s office, tax-company, to the groceries and accessories we buy all have a specific type or types of customers in mind. This market is the primary goal of the organization to reach out to that they feel best will suit their products. Cahill explains that a firm will be better off by selling higher prices and lower cost of sales with a specific group in mind that would attract them towards your service/product. Even though a specific group is targeted, it does not guarantee success. Wright explains in his article that the top 20 percent or so who are your most profitable customers will be the group that keeps your brand, in a sense, alive. In order to keep it “alive”, one must acquire brand loyalty. This can be done by identifying the most profitable customers, learn what their values are, how they need and may use your product, and focus on them primarily so you have a specific group of buyers. Having a target market will allow an organization to focus on a primary goal rather than trying to satisfy customers as a whole. It is a given and proven that when a target market is worked towards, the organization as a whole would be more focused, goal oriented, organized, have a strategic plan, and have the ability to satisfy a particular type of customer in general with control. When you are focused on making everyone happy, it is impossible and you may have to make many changes to a product that can possibly lead to failure. The power of having a target market is to limit the customers you want and don’t want, and to make sure these customers you do want are loyal, high-profiting and returning customers. A target market also means fewer competitors, less pricing pressure issues, and less of a rivalry substitute product. Now-a-days we are able to run software’s that allow us to watch our customer’s patterns on buying products, when and where, how they buy them, and what other products they may buy along with ours. Technology has changed how business run, and so it also changes the idea of a target market and segmentation since companies can now create any product, target towards a specific customer, and run tests on the success. Target marketing has made companies successful, and with the new technology we see today, it may frankly be that target marketing is not the primary goal of future businesses. Outreach and engagement helps shape our research agenda and research outcomes; increases access to compelling learning experiences that are available anytime and anyplace; and is responsive to the changing needs of current and future learners. We work collaboratively with individuals, families, businesses, and communities in mutually beneficial and reciprocal partnerships. Applying target marketing using Geographic Information System (GIS) software is a proficient and effective method to successfully carry out outreach and engagement strategies. Cheng and Yu (2005) stated that “taking the advantage of information technology, geographic information systems (GIS) enable the handling of both spatial and non-spatial data for constructing thematic maps depicting a variety of demographic information relating to population, housing, and economic activities.” The primary focus of target marketing is customers – how to identify them, keep them, reach them, and find more like them. To accomplish these goals, it is necessary to understand customers’ demographics, behaviors, and participation patterns increases the chances of retaining them and finding more like them. As an appropriate tool for a variety of uses, “updated versions have been improved substantially and are ready for sophisticated business and economic analysis. In general, GIS software builds in functions and tools for storing, analyzing, and displaying necessary information. There are four key parts of existing GIS software:

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Heritage Trees and Maps for the People

This quarter is drawing to a close and the Open Space and Land Use team’s project is nearly complete. We have completed the interactive map showing heritage trees and historic tree groves in Claremont. These are the trees considered historically or aesthetically significant, with some additionally trees (the list of these trees can be found on Claremont’s Tree Policies and Guidelines Manual).  The City’s list contains only lists the tree species and address, which is not sufficient for a good inventory. These special trees also have nothing, like a plaque for example, to distinguish them as significant. So the list before this project was really abstract for more Claremont citizens; how would they possibly know the trees were important? So we created the map as a way to move in the direction of really letting people know about these trees which will lead to better preservation (maybe even celebration) of them.

Check out our map here.

We made the map using a GIS shapefile of all the public trees in Claremont which was provided by the City’s Public Works Department (who originally obtained it from West Coast Arborists Incorporated). This database contained information of the location, species, and size of each tree in Claremont. To make into a source of data that the typical citizen could use and find interesting we had to narrow the scope of the data and number of trees.

From the original 25,010 trees from the original shapefile we narrowed it down to 79 trees. Over the past few weeks, our team has worked to match the trees from the list with points on the shapefile. For the six heritage trees, we simply matched the address and species with a point. This process didn’t go smoothly for every tree, and the list needed to be revised multiple times. A data set this large is always bound to have some inaccuracies.

One example of where it was an issue was for the Camphor tree pictured below.  The shapefile listed the tree as being the size of a sapling, so we did not consider that point as being the location of the heritage tree. It was essentially “missing” from the data. We needed to become detectives to find it. Using the address listed by the City’s list we narrowed the possible location of the tree to an area around Mallows Park on Indian Hill Blvd. To find it we cross referenced google street view photos with points that listed correct information.  To say the least, it was frustrating working with this data set, but the final result can be considered very accurate.

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The “missing” Camphor Tree – found in Memorial Park behind the Garner House.

To make the map more appealing we converted it to a google map and posted it online to make it more users friendly and easy to access. To do this we just use the data with google fusion tables and created the online version of the map. In addition, to make the map even less abstract we added photos of each tree on the list which can be accessed by clicking on each point. The team felt this made the map more aesthetically pleasing and engaging. These photos were collected by the team over 4 visits to Claremont. We hope this map provides some interesting information to the other students and any interested residents. This map is a step in the right direction for the future preservation and management of Claremont’s urban forest. The first step in protecting something is to show people it is worth protecting, and this map shows off some of Claremont’s beautiful trees so that people can take a moment to stop and think about them and appreciate them.

An Australian Tea Tree - One of the heritage trees in Claremont is exceptionally rare. Can be found in Mallows Park on Indian Hill Blvd.

An Australian Tea Tree – One of the heritage trees in Claremont is exceptionally rare. Can be found in Mallows Park on Indian Hill Blvd.

In addition to the map, the team has also completed the best management practices for the care of mature trees covering topics such as proper pruning and watering. In a period of severe drought, proper care is important for the survival of these trees which  are a major resource for Claremont. Remember, we are the treeople.

What’s next?

This upcoming week (Week 9) we will submit out final report before making our final presentation next week.

Sustainable Landscape and Energy Retrofit Demonstration Project: Almost done! Update &big Lesson Learned!

Two weeks left! It has been exciting seeing our project coming together! After working closely with our partners throughout last quarter (431), developing a relationship to maintain good communication this quarter has been difficult. There is definitely a lesson to be learned here. After working close with Devon Hartman from CHERP at the beginning phases of this project, we thought as a group that we could always depend on this open communication with one of our main partners in our project; however, shortly after the start of 432 we completely lost contact with Mr. Hartman which seemed to stall our project somewhat. After realizing a week had passed and still no contact with Hartman we decided to work around him. Because energy retrofit is one main section of our project at the Garner House, we still had to work with someone from CHERP. By doing extensive outreach to create contact with someone from CHERP there was no luck! This shifted our timeline because unlike we had expected this was not the first parts of the project we could finish. However, we prioritized our time on the landscaping section of our project. Our group met and maintained contact with DRIP and other landscaping contacts that were open and willing to get involved in our project.

After meeting with Sue one landscape designer who had history in designing for the Garner House, as well as reaching out to our own Landscaping Architecture department at school, we were able to create several contacts we could work with outside of our initial partner circle. Sue as well as Jonathan Harnish a Cal Poly Alumni; both begin helping us come up with a landscaping design for our site. After meeting with them a couple times, and visiting our site location with them, we were able to get their commitment in creating a design. Something we should of done with CHERP, get their commitment.

Although, things were moving forward we were still having some communication issues regarding other parts of our project. After meeting with the director of the Garner House we came across a challenge with our data collection. This is because the Garner House property sits at a city park, where water usage is all part of the whole water system for the park, therefore in order to get our water usage data for the site we would have to contact the city parks manager himself. Paul Cranmer is not the easiest person to get a hold of as we heard and learned throughout the quarter. Although, he did reach out to us at one point, has not gotten a chance to follow up with us with the actual data. Therefore, we have been stalled on our data collection and analysis part of that since both of our sources, with CHERP and City of Claremont’s community services manager both have not been able to maintain contact with us.

As a group of students we completely understand that these professionals have bigger priorities and demands before our project, but misconceptions have lead us on.  However, as a learning experience this has served us with plenty, and we can definitely say that there is always other ways to go about things, but with deadline pressures, data confidentiality, and commitments to our project deliverables has left us with little to no alternative choices.

Conclusively, we are confident that our project has true vision and potential to really contribute to the sustainability goals of Claremont. Furthermore, we are doing everything we can to comply with patience and give our partners time to get back to us with the missing data. It’s true there was a huge lesson learned here on mis communication and following up commitments, but we have also learned about ways in which our project can be customizable to work with others tools that can available to us. For example, by reaching out to our own department we were able to save time in trying to exclusively reach out to DRIP while still including them on. Also, by reaching out to our main partner David the director of the Garner House, he was able to provide us with some data regarding energy audit, etc. These two alternative contacts have allowed us to stay active in developing our project, while allowing us to work with different resources we didn’t know initially know about. Ultimately, our project has had its setbacks and new opportunities, we just hope our initial intent is still clear. Providing the community with a demonstrated project that educates, informs, and provides awareness about Sustainable Claremont and what residents can do at home to contribute and live sustainably.

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Home Stretch: Conservation Program Update

Conservation Program Update

There are two weeks left in the quarter, the team has developed a rough draft of the final booklet, due at the end of the quarter. Professor Gallardo has commented and made recommendations to the document. The team is in the process of reviewing these comments and implementing the changes. This previous week, the team began work and production of informational literature for the community. This document will serve as a quick guide and summary of composting programs and the work of our project. Our focus, with this brochure or pamphlet, are community groups, these are the business owners, workers, and the community at large. The end result will be an informative trifold. There will likely be two versions, one in English and the other in Spanish. We want to get this information out to for educational and support purposes. The effort, is this may reach many people in the community of all backgrounds to help Claremont move forward with a compost city program.  This document will include information about what composting is, best practices, and information regarding our program.

As far as the project deadlines, we are have already begun finishing our last tasks.  Also, we have been working with the rewards program group to establish and they have established a logo that they have shared with us. We communicate with the group weekly, and have received images, logos, and information regarding their green rewards program.

Much of last week was spent preparing the rough draft booklet, the group has divided the content into several different parts. Each team member is assigned a write up of various topics. These were divided into site selection, logistics, and processes, among others. Some of these sections are about two thirds through. However, some must be re-written, as the draft has been returned with comments and recommendations. There is editing to be done, and one team member has been selected for rewriting the draft. Using the information gathered by all team members, the booklet will have one team member will organize and write out all the information. Also, the design of our booklet is something to continue working on. Parts of the rough draft must be omitted, and re-done to fit with the overall design of the booklet. The book has several elements that need to be included into an appendix section that has yet to be implemented.

Most of the team is on task, and it looks like we are on track to have all work ready on deadlines.

Look ahead

This upcoming week we will review the rough draft, complete the booklet, as well as make any necessary changes that need to be done. As noted, the rough draft is missing some narrative and detail, in order to complete and eliminate ambiguity in the booklet.