Prelude to a Master Plan offers ideas, recommendations, and a toolkit to help the town chart its own path towards that future. While the teams and individual students worked to ‘drill down’ into specific topic areas, the Studio defined three basic areas in order to think about how the various assets, challenges and ideas undermine or reinforce one another. The report is loosely organized in those terms: addressing the outlying rural areas and issues specific to these places, considering one of the key growth areas that has extended from town and the conflicts that arise from the many uses occurring along a single corridor, and then finishing at the center with the downtown and Mill Yard. This is the order in which most residents express their affection – unmitigated pride in the natural heritage, satisfaction with housing and joy in community, and cautious hope (or disappointment) in the town center. This is also the way in which visitors experience this place. Whether in setting priorities for preservation of resources, or determining ways in which to project the town’s identity to attract visitors and businesses, it is important to keep stepping back to see the Town of Ware, with all of the places and all of the people that comprise its entirety. And so, while this report begins with data and maps and natural resources it ends with identity and public participation, this report is not a Master Plan. It is the prelude to a Master Plan. Ware’s plan will be a success because of the people at the heart of that process and the community.
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