Anyone know about where I can find organizations awarding exceptional Planning or Public Participation?
Help everyone out and let me know since they help generate interest, they feel good, and best of all, they are free!
I am looking for award opportunities to build on my organization's success (described below). Please post links or ways of getting a hold of organizations. Thanks!
Using an award-winning public participation process, Charlotte County’s new comprehensive plan is now undergoing final review at the state level. Called Smart Charlotte 2050, it received an award by the Florida Planning and Zoning Association (FPZA) before it was even completed! In describing the project, the FPZA stated, “The Awards Committee called the plan engaging and brilliant and noted that the interactive website involved the community in a way that traditional public meetings could never match."
Complete Project Description:
The project is the development of a software package that revolutionizes public education and participation. Charlotte County’s Growth Management Department developed and utilized this tool to create an open forum for the public to provide their insight and comments into the formulation of the County’s new comprehensive plan, Smart Charlotte 2050. Charlotte County is now making this software available for free for use by any agency wishing to improve public participation in formation of comprehensive plans and any other government regulation.
Charlotte County’s project offers a useful tool to the professional’s toolbox improving public engagement in the development of public regulations through the use of this powerful interactive website that traditional public meetings can never match. The Smart Charlotte 2050 website was developed using this new software that is versatile, easy to configure, and allows uploads of any document for review and comment. Document indexing, hyperlink capabilities, and inline definitions ensure citizen reviewers are given the background they need to provide informed input. Charlotte County’s experience resulted in a comprehensive plan based on over 700 substantive online comments. Anyone with internet access can access the system. Comments are, after review by staff for content, made publically viewable, leading to further interaction between County staff, citizens and other stakeholders. Staff also offers written response to how each comment is used to ensure that citizens know that each of their comments are seriously considered.
Based on public comments made at the public hearing of the Smart Charlotte 2050 plan, Charlotte County has never had a regulatory process that resulted in such a widespread collaboration and approval. It was with that goal of attaining a high degree of citizen consensus and support that was the impetus for the County to develop this public participation software, and then to make it available to others for free. Now there is a free open source public participation software package, accessible to organizations large and small, that allows for a completely new approach to the development of comprehensive plans and other government regulations. Since group meetings must practically focus on only a few topics, this revolutionary software provides a quality and quantity of comments that group meetings cannot. The software ties the almost universal accessibility of the internet with a very strong public education component, making any government regulation and rulemaking accessible to almost anyone at any level of subject matter knowledge.