$0.00 – $6.00
Armand Ciccarelli and Lawrence Susskind
Seven-person, multi-issue mediation among business, planning, environmental, and agricultural interests regarding growth management and comprehensive planning
Over the past few years, the City of Rockville has undergone a period of significant growth, resulting in steadily decreasing unemployment and a high rate of immigration from other areas. Even greater levels of immigration are predicted over the next two to three years. Consequently, housing demand now surpasses supply and developers have begun purchasing large tracts of agricultural and forest land at the urban fringe in order to convert them for residential purposes. Already, a number of scattered residential developments have appeared. In addition, a representative of a regional “Superstore” has recently made inquiries about purchasing several tracts of property just outside of Rockville. It is predicted that a large scale commercial enterprise will soon be opening in the vicinity.
After extensive community-wide debate, the current Mayor of Rockville (Mayor Gale) has concluded that Rockville is in urgent need of a ‘master plan’ to guide sustainable growth. A number of groups have come forward to present their ideas on how (if at all) future growth should be managed. Unfortunately, no real progress has been made. As a result, Mayor Gale has retained the services of the nearby university’s dispute resolution center for the purpose of helping the community come to some consensus. Invited stakeholder representatives include an environmental lobby group, the alliance of local home builders, an association representing small business, the farming community, a town planner and a representative of the incoming ‘superstore’.
- The point of this game is to demonstrate how mediation and assisted negotiation techniques can be used to resolve growth management disputes.
- This game explores the role of the mediator in a multi-party dispute concerning land use and growth management. The mediator’s primary role is to assist the players in packaging an agreement. He or she should help the stakeholders identify their real interests, their BATNAs and their willingness to make trade offs.
- The mediator should also help to set ground rules and the agenda and ensure that all of the parties have an opportunity to speak. Since public disputes often involve complex, highly emotional issues, negotiations can run more smoothly with the help of an experienced mediator.
- Joint gains are possible when the parties, in complex disputes, are willing to make trades across the issues on which the mediation process is focused. This is especially useful when the stakeholders value the issues differently.
- In cases where the stakeholders value an issue in precisely the same way, negotiations tend to take on a “zero-sum” nature – more for one party equates with less for others. However, even under these constraints, issues can be reframed thereby allowing both sides to realize gains on aspects that are important to them.
- Mediating land use disputes involves finding ways to attach and integrate facilitated face-to-face dialogue into the existing regulatory and administrative system.
The Game Manager should send out the General Instructions to all players prior to the day on which the game is to be played. The Mediator role is particularly complex and it is important the Mediator be prepared well in advance of the simulation.
The mediation setting should involve one room set for seven with an additional separate room for a private caucus.
Estimated Time Requirements:
30 minutes – Introduction, Assignment of Roles, and Preparation
90 minutes – Negotiation
30 minutes – Debriefing
Total 2.5 hours
For all Parties:
- General instructions
- Map of Rockville
Role Specific Confidential Instructions for:
- Homebuilders' Association (D. Wong)
- Rockville Farmers' Grange (A. Delisi)
- State Alliance for Nature Conservation (S. Moonbeam)
- City of Rockville Small Business Association (T. Sanders)
- Rockville City Planner (S. Young)
- Representative of chain of "Superstores" (B. Bochs)
- Mediator (R. Maccarone)
- All of the above
- Teaching Notes on logistics, debriefing and key teaching points
- Supplementary material focusing on expected ‘key conflicts’
Multi-party negotiation; negotiating sustainable development; mediation; mediation of land use disputes; resolution of land use and growth management disputes
Development Dispute at Menehune Bay
Hitana Bay Development Simulation
Humboldt: mediating a regional development dispute
Negotiated Development in Redstone
Residential Development in Tienhuizen
The Carson Extension (mediated version)
Urban Redevelopment in Maasdrecht
Managing Growth in Rockville Attributes
|Time required:||2-3 hours|
|Number of participants:||7|
|Neutral third party present:||Mediator|
|Teaching notes available:||Yes|