Agenda 21 Video | March 14, 2013

Part 1 of 1

Video Notes

Read this before viewing: There are Nine Regional Planning Commissions within the State of New Hampshire. The Commissions were created by the Legislature and are given the task to create a regional master plan, a housing needs assessment and to assist towns in land use planning. They also derive most of their funding from the Federal Government. A smaller percentage comes from monies that are paid to it from towns in the form of membership dues.

The Nashua Regional planning commission applied for a planning grant offered by HUD, Housing and Urban Development, EPA Environmental Protection Agency and the DOT Department of Transportation. The planning grant is under the Federal Sustainable Communities Initiative. The initiatives primary goal is to support international agreements that incorporate "Sustainable Development" into local land use planning.

The most commonly accepted formal definition of sustainable development is taken from Our Common Future, the landmark 1987 report of The World Commission on Environment and Development. Chaired by former Norwegian Prime Minister, Dr. Gro Harlem Brundtland and is the base document promoting the agreement known as Agenda 21, an action to be taken by member states of the United Nations to control all aspects where humans have an effect on the environment.

In New Hampshire the Sustainable Communities Initiative has been given the name, The Granite State Future. One of the stipulations of the Contract between Nashua, which is the lead agency dealing with HUD, is to have "Community Conversations" or "Listening Sessions" throughout the state to gather public input on what planning ideas will be implemented in the regional plan. The sessions are being ran by The University of New Hampshire's Carsey Institute.

Concerned citizen groups that have attended the meetings have noticed the technic that the facilitators are using is the Delphi Technic. The Delphi Technic is a group manipulation tactic that pre selects parameters that will guide a group to a predetermined outcome. In this case the outcomes are the need for land use controls, Housing needs (HUD), public transportation (DOT), climate change adaptation and environmental protection (EPA). The tactic will have selected personnel sit within the group to guide the group conversation.

If a participant in the group tries to stray away from the preselected topics the "selected personnel" will marginalize and if needed, the main facilitator will intervene. The idea is to have underserved populations, the poor, minorities and seniors give input on land use planning. But, in the group filmed, a government official from Senator Kelly Ayotte's Office; regional planning members, and educators from UNH comprise the group. Here, Tim Carter, a Nationally Syndicated Newspaper columnist,, steps into the fold to see for himself how this technic is being used on unsuspecting participants in the Granite State Future.

Past Agenda 21 Videos