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Anson Stewart

559 days ago
Unfiled. Edited by Jan Devereux , Anson Stewart , Jennifer Rowe 559 days ago
PUBLIC INVOLVEMENT - BEST & WORST PRACTICES (GROUP DISCUSSION)
 
Jan D I. What works in public engagement?
Street teams: meeting people where they are (also virtually)
Interactive mapping
Using games to make the process more fun, role playing
CoUrbanize platform (courbanize.com/imagineboston)
Tactical urbanism, pilot projects
Jennifer R One-on-one stakeholder interviews
Focus groups
Facilitated dialogue
Engagement with local leadership
Encouraging people to question assumptions and models
Listing agreements (rules) of engagement at a meeting (or even co-generating them)
Putting people in teams to encourage empathy
Keep up with real-life changes
Visualization
Persona development to reach the right people
Providing Spanish-speaking surveyors who are clearly identified (large buttons)
Urban prototyping "try before you buy" with inexpensive landscaping supplies--let residents "try" and rate the experiments
Timely use-based surveys (eg Hubway's new bike design)
Pictorializing information and data with drawings/diagrams
Use of social media
Comminity coalition of agencies, unions, residents collaborating on campaigns
Leadership willing to take risks with community to build political support
Street teams for community engagement
Explaining things in plain english
Using lots of graphics (bonus if they are easily shareable!)
Nametags! 
Breaks in meetings to allow people to ask one-one-one questions and to allow informal group discussions
Involving the public early and frequently
Explicating the process clearly and keeping the public abreast of changes
Providing lots of options for engagement
Framing outreach documents from the public's perspective (asking people what they want to know or how they'd like to contribute)
Text messaging for engagement (meeting reminders, short surveys)
Keeping surveys short and fun
Community walk throughs/transepts/tours of areas
Tactical urbanism
Being upfront about the constraints (budget, timeframe, jurisdiction)
Making sure that all aspects of decision-making are present: without dialogue, you get solutions that don't answer the right problems. Without expert debate, you get uninformed solutions. Without negotiation, you have a lot of talk but nothing done. 
Involving the public in all aspects of decision-making: dialogue, expert debate, and negotiation 
 
Jan D II. What doesn't work?
3-minute public comment 
Anson S -sometimes legally required
-allow people to use other forms of communication (posting notes, drawing...)
Jan D One-size-fits-all meetings (vary time of days, lan
Anson S Courbanize.com/imagineboston
-But how to balance with value of face-to-face empathy building
Jennifer R Not presenting both sides of an issue equally
Overwhelming technical details (unless they ask for it)
Surveys in poor weather (outside)
Room layout can sink a public meeting:
  • bad lighting
  • auditorium-style seating with wheelchair space only at the top
  • too big/too small a room
  • sound quality
Making changes to policies that effect limited English proficiency groups without creating notices in their native language
Public hearings that necessitate physical presence
Allowing large group Q&A discussion time prior to small group and informational session (=chaos)
Traditional marketing strategy and PR
Asking people to think about benefits va issues rather than just generic comments
English only outreach materials
Getting people in the room
3 Min public comment period
Ignoring actual users
Static, pre-made media
Asking for input when it is too late for anything to change
 
Jan D III. What sort of works?
Social media (in college environments)
Jennifer R On-board bus surveys
  • Pro: people have time. Get people throughout route
  • Cons: Poor handwriting. Surveyor falling on customers.
Twitter
Facebook
Implemention of tech
Multi-municipal contracts for public service operators (commuter rail, Hubway etc) OR separate contracts for each city/town
 
Jan D IV. What is the role of public involvement in decision making?
Do people actually have a say?
Earlier involvement helps
 
Resources:
ncdd.org (based in Cambridge)
World Resources Institute (India) -- gameification to promote empathy
 
 
Anson S Questions:
Works for whom?
 
 

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