Cold Hollow Cider Mill- At this Waterbury Center, Vermont cider mill- one of the top producers of cider in New England- guests can observe the pressing of cider, observe bees at work, and occasionally watch the making of jam The Mill offers plenty of local gourmet food items for sale, and the Apple Core Luncheonette offers a variety of lunch options.
Shelburne Farms- Located in Shelburne, Vermont, this working farm- including a dairy, garden, and woodlands- educates visitors on sustainable farming practices. The farm produces farmstead cheese, pastured meat and eggs, Maple syrup, and organic produce. The historic Inn offers 24 guest rooms and a farm-to-table restaurant utilizing locally grown ingredients.
ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center- This Burlington, Vermont attraction boasts a multimedia theater, a water play space, a tide pool touch tank, and temporary exhibits focusing on everything from dinosaurs to classic literature. Farm-to-table food offerings are available through Sugarsnap Cafe.
Contextualizing Public Involvement
Current debates on sustainable transport and urban development reflect a move away from a narrow ‘line-oriented’ focus prioritizing the automobile to ‘area-oriented’ solutions integrating transport planning with land use planning, together with diversification of travel modes. Because funding is distributed to a larger number of projects in the area-oriented approach, greater collaboration between stakeholders and authorities is required. The actors involved in the collaboration include designers, operators, authorities, residents, commuters, academicians, developers, and environmentalists. Together, the stakeholders possess technical, political, institutional, and tacit knowledge.
Vermont Map Photo Gallery
Besides the increase in number and types of stakeholders in a transport project, the emphasis in transport planning has now shifted from being based on traffic demand to demand management. Simply building more roads to meet the demand is no longer a sustainable solution. This was evident in the UK of the 1960s and 1970s, when there was a reactionary resistance to road building and to the public’s lack of opportunity to challenge the decisions being made. The way in which policies are developed sets the stage for collaborative planning. The policy framework since the 1980s has evolved from being ‘demand responsive’ to achieving ‘sustainable development’. The policy framework is now seen as the instrument to achieve sustainable development by uniting stakeholders in a common cause. This requires that the stakeholders are well informed about the issues and possess the power to tackle them.
As Bray et al. observe, the mode of policy formulation has also changed, shifting from policy by master plans to policies that allow the rationale for a decision to evolve through extensive stakeholder engagement and communication. Planning that was previously focused on providing infrastructure in an inflexible way now focuses on the behavioral aspects of the people concerned, thus influencing their attitudes towards transportation.
However, unfortunately, many of the attempts to foster participation have been ineffective. This can be attributed to the constrained and partial nature of public involvement and a lack of inclusiveness during the decision-making stages. ‘Strategic communication’ has also been used by government and other interest groups to conceal the absence of sincere and meaningful public participation. This has led to a questioning of the legitimacy of transport planning.