Urban planning community

+ Reply to thread
Results 1 to 14 of 14

Thread: Your favourite public participation method(s)

  1. #1
    Member
    Registered
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Montreal, Quebec
    Posts
    22

    Your favourite public participation method(s)

    I am interested in learning what your favourite public involvement method is.

    I have looked at some threads that have been helpful. Previous consensus was for open houses
    http://www.cyburbia.org/forums/showt...local+meetings

    and informal meetings http://www.cyburbia.org/forums/showt...unity+councils

    sorry i don't know how the quick way to link to a thread

    Of course, we all know about public hearings and other formal venues. And visioning exercises. And charrettes. I am looking for some other ideas that you know have been successful and would recommend.

    I know this is the kind of query that invites the response -- "it depends", but I am looking for as broad an array of practical means as possible. (I am trying to get some ideas for some presentations I hope to do to elected officials, and university students...

    if people are interested in this, I will list my own preferred short list in a subsequent post.

    Thank-you for your input.

  2. #2
    My favorite public participation method is voting in elections.

    Actually, you can get public involved by various survey techniques, which is something you didn't list already. Otherwise I like visioning and charettes.

    If you are looking for something new, be creative and imaginitive on your own. Invent your own strategy for getting public involved. That is what planners are - creative and imaginitive.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Wildono's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Running with the Proverbial Dark Lord
    Posts
    92

    visual preference surveys

    With contrition, I say it depends on the issue or topic, the anticipated audiences/constituents, time available and the budget. If you're looking at validating 'community tastes' in regards to urban design or project design standards/regs, a visual preference survey isn't a bad way to go. I'd like to hear your ideal means of public participation.

    For check out the City of Kent, Washington website for an online residential development survey.
    Last edited by Wildono; 18 Aug 2006 at 6:07 PM.

  4. #4
    Member
    Registered
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Montreal, Quebec
    Posts
    22

    Top public participation methods

    [QUOTE=Wildono;336542]With contrition, I say it depends on the issue or topic, the anticipated audiences/constituents, time available and the budget. If you're looking at validating 'community tastes' in regards to urban design or project design standards/regs, a visual preference survey isn't a bad way to go. I'd like to hear your ideal means of public participation.

    I agree that buget, time available and target population all need to be taken into accout. Here are some suggested Public Participation methods:

    If you are trying to obtain input from people who are unlikely to participate in conventional methods:
    focus groups
    participatory theatre

    To obtain general overall input:
    meet with existing groups (both organized and informal)
    open houses and planning fairs


    To help make a decision on a specific item:
    citizens' advisory committee

    And the traditional, public hearing. But only if
    • information is provided beforehand
    • citizens are shown respect (e.g. if council is seated, they get to sit too)
    • analysis and summary of public input is produced and published prior to the decision being made
    • elected officials explain why they made a decision, indicating why they have or have not followed public input

    Voting is rarely a useful public input mechanism for planning since it forces people into choosing between very few alternatives (yes-no). Surveys are often suspect, for similar reasons.

    I would be interested in people's reactions to these.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Jan 2004
    Location
    montana
    Posts
    336
    [QUOTE=Joshua;336846]
    Quote Originally posted by Wildono View post
    With contrition, I say it depends on the issue or topic, the anticipated audiences/constituents, time available and the budget. If you're looking at validating 'community tastes' in regards to urban design or project design standards/regs, a visual preference survey isn't a bad way to go. I'd like to hear your ideal means of public participation.

    I agree that buget, time available and target population all need to be taken into accout. Here are some suggested Public Participation methods:

    If you are trying to obtain input from people who are unlikely to participate in conventional methods:
    focus groups
    participatory theatre

    To obtain general overall input:
    meet with existing groups (both organized and informal)
    open houses and planning fairs


    To help make a decision on a specific item:
    citizens' advisory committee

    And the traditional, public hearing. But only if
    • information is provided beforehand
    • citizens are shown respect (e.g. if council is seated, they get to sit too)
    • analysis and summary of public input is produced and published prior to the decision being made
    • elected officials explain why they made a decision, indicating why they have or have not followed public input

    Voting is rarely a useful public input mechanism for planning since it forces people into choosing between very few alternatives (yes-no). Surveys are often suspect, for similar reasons.

    I would be interested in people's reactions to these.
    What exactly is "participatory theater"?

  6. #6
    Cyburbian jordanb's avatar
    Registered
    May 2003
    Location
    City of Low Low Wages!
    Posts
    3,236
    How about shouting insults at public meetings?
    Reality does not conform to your ideology.
    http://neighborhoods.chicago.il.us Photographs of Life in the Neighborhoods of Chicago
    http://hafd.org/~jordanb/ Pretentious Weblog.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian The One's avatar
    Registered
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Where Valley Fever Lives
    Posts
    6,950

    Well....

    I've been holding numerous "courtesy" public meetings, gearing up for Comp. Plan amendments and my system seems to work well and most importantly, I LOVE IT

    1. Secure large room with at least 8 tables.
    2. Make 5 minute introduction about the process and need for public input.
    3. Provide developer proposed amendments on the tables w/ 8 1/2 x 11 handouts.
    4. Provide current Future Land Use Maps, area maps, district maps, special maps for review and markup by citizens.
    5. Provide County proposed amendments.
    6. Provide multiple copies of the current Comp. Plan.

    add water, two eggs and stir until everyone leaves the area.....
    Skilled Adoxographer

  8. #8
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
    Registered
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Where the weak are killed and eaten.
    Posts
    6,107
    Quote Originally posted by jordanb View post
    How about shouting insults at public meetings?
    Hey I know that guy! He shows up to all of our meetings too. He also insists that we don't know what we are talking about and need to replace all bus lines with heavy rail (its cheaper), wants us to build a pnuematic tube system that would shoot you up to Mackinaw City in 20 minutes at 400 miles an hour, and wears a foil lined jacket so the governement can't track him by the computer chip they implanted in him as a baby.

    I agree with The One, this technique keeps people from grandstanding. We have employed a similar technique several times and this is a favorite. A nice thing about this is that like minded people generally show up en masse, you can assign them tables numerically and it instantly breaks up their group. Groups/grandstanders like this have a tendancy to overpower the meeting and make the more timid less likely to give input. The group break outs allow everyone to contribute.

    US federal transportation law is putting added emphasis on the public meeting and providing new requirements for the use of illustrative methods to explain things to the public. This will translate into better materials for the public.
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

  9. #9
    We are about half way through a 3 year Comp Plan Update process that has emphasized community involvement. The process has 2 primary work products 1) Community Assessment Report (in Florida this is knows as the EAR Evaluation & Appraisal Report and 2) 2007 Comp Plan. In order to make these work products more accessible & readable, we have focused on layout, format, design, and common language. This makes the text easier to understand & ideas easier to buy into.

    We have found that there isn't a 1 size fits all scenarios and outcomes. As a result we have utilize a variety of tools including:

    1) Public Vision Forums. 20 total, 5 topic areas. Completed over 5 months. 1200 participants.
    Goal: Promote community dialogue about community needs, concerns, and values.
    Key Components:
    A) Variety complex issues grouped together in common themes (Community Goals, Public Services, Environment, Public Infrastructure/Transportation, and Land Use)
    B) Broad-based community facilitator / stakeholder group
    C) Small table discussions where people felt comfortable sharing ideas (we used colored dots on name tags to separate friends & family)
    D) Topic overview presentation w/ easily understood community condition assessment maps
    E) Participant community quiz.
    F) Monthly priority setting session.

    2) High School Vision Surveys. Completed in conjunction with community forums.
    Goal: Here what younger people felt about the community & what their vision for the future is.
    Key Components:
    A) Utilize same base information as community forums.
    B) Go to student classrooms, so that students are in comfortable place.
    C) Work with school system to encourage community dialogue from students.

    3. Community Design & Vision Workshops. Completed at end of community forums
    Goal: Translate written ideas into illustrated designs about what community will be in future.
    Key Components:
    A) Discussion about how smart growth, sustainable development, community design, and master planning practices can improve community character and livability.
    B) Outside design experts
    C) Results in 9 planning critical issues that need to be addressed by future planning directives
    D) Outlines format of Community Assessment Report

    4. Policy Workshops with public officials, City boards, and regional partners. Currently underway.
    Goal: Receive guidance and feedback about proposed policy directions.
    Key Components:
    1) Elements grouped in common chapters (Environment, Public Services/Infrastructure,
    2) Each chapter reviewed over 2 month period... complete draft chapter each period.
    3) Build chapters upon one another
    4) Utilize design & community assessment maps to express/reinforce policy direction

    5. Smart Growth/New Urbanist Charrette (planned for January 2007)
    Goal: Identify what how selected policy direction will achieve community vision.
    Key Components:
    A) Design-based.
    B) Focused on a single area, that it utilized as example for other neighborhoods/development areas.
    C) Supported by neighborhood / community interest groups.
    D) Outside design experts.

    6. Policy Open House (planned for February 2007)
    Goal: Highlight & confirm policy direction with community.
    Key Components:
    A) Confirms input from forums
    B) Shows how community vision is achieved by policy direction
    C) Validates public input
    D) Ensure community ownership of plan

    7. Traditional Public Hearings. Completed for Community Assessment Report, planned for Comp Plan Adoption Summer - Fall 2007
    Goal: Plan adoption
    Key Components:
    A) Follows state guidelines
    B) Confirms process outcomes

    Again, the key to all of this is making planning easy for everyone to understand. We use photos, maps, drawings, diagrams, and graphs to emphasize critical components & illustrate intended outcomes. This helps people see how their ideas translate into policy, which allows them buy into the plan's outcomes & direction.

    If you want more info, let me know. Its a great project & one we as planners are having a lot of fun with.
    Last edited by Kathie_WE; 27 Aug 2006 at 4:21 AM.

  10. #10
    Cyburbian Wildono's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Running with the Proverbial Dark Lord
    Posts
    92
    Quote Originally posted by jordanb View post
    How about shouting insults at public meetings?
    Depending on the issue, constituents may find this effective. Especially when combined with fist-on-podium action. Sometimes bringing stuffed animals holding slogan signs has worked for constituents.
    "That guy handles the puck like a cow handles a gun!" - Mike Lange

  11. #11
    Member
    Registered
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Montreal, Quebec
    Posts
    22

    Participatory Theater

    Quote Originally posted by vaughan View post

    What exactly is "participatory theater"?
    Sorry it has taken me so long to reply. Participatory theater is a highly unusual form of public participation. which few public agencies are likely to try, but I find intriguing.. It is a way to get particular kinds of people hostile or uninterested in political things (e.g. disaffected teen agers) to make public comment.

    With help from outside resource people (theatre director, etc), participants learn to act out their own story, highlight their own concerns and develop strategies among themselves, with their neighbours or with policy makers.

    Augosto Boal, a Brazilian playwright, used participatory theater when he was a city councillor in Rio de Janeiro.

    For further info:
    http://www.mandalaforchange.com
    http://www.kit.nl/frameset.asp?/spec...nt.asp&frnr=1&

  12. #12
    Member
    Registered
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Old North State
    Posts
    16
    Currently, anonymous mailings, flyers, and websites are favorites in our town.

  13. #13
    Cyburbian Tobinn's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Clearwater, FL
    Posts
    260

    Best Public Participation Technique

    Generally, I would say that providing refreshments and food is the best way to get people to show up.

    We held a public workshop in a small town (about 15,000 as I recall) and had sandwhiches, pastries, coffee, water, soda, etc. and had a turnout of about 100 or so. We thought it was a success.

    Another nearby town, same topic, no grub - one attendee.

    As I understand it the advertising was about the same.

    (the above is all fairly factual although somewhat tongue in cheek)

  14. #14
    Cyburbian njm's avatar
    Registered
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Highlight of the lowland
    Posts
    322

    A Twist On Public Participation

    From the St. Paul Pioneer Press:

    http://www.twincities.com/mld/twinci...l/16172909.htm

    Land-use planning for the masses
    Design center allows public to try hand at shaping key corridor
    BY LAURA YUEN
    Pioneer Press

    On St. Paul's University Avenue, you can order Cambodian noodles, buy a secondhand mannequin and replace the muffler on your old Buick.

    And starting today, you can create your own streetscape.

    A do-it-yourself urban design center offering equipment, software and technical expertise to the public will open today at 1956 W. University Ave.

    The storefront office, called U-Plan Community Planning Studio, is a land-use wonk's dream, but it is already generating some grass-roots interest.

    With big-box retailers sniffing around and a light-rail line on the horizon for University Avenue, supporters say it gives the little guy a new weapon in the ongoing battle to reshape the Central Corridor.

    In the center's sparse storefront office, interested groups can equip themselves with GIS mapping software, design tools and mega-size printers designed to help them create their own development blueprints along the avenue.

    For a district council or neighborhood group engaged in a development issue, those resources usually aren't easy to come by, said Kristen Kidder, executive director of the Thomas-Dale/District 7 Planning Council.

    "At the neighborhood level, we're to some degree playing catch-up," said Kidder, who also is a member of the new center's management team. "We're not on the cutting edge. This provides us the ability to be a little closer to that cutting edge."

    The scramble for every developable inch on University Avenue already has begun. Community activists and design enthusiasts already have lost key battles over recent bricks-and-mortar projects, including a CVS, Aldi discount grocery and Wal-Mart.

    Opponents of those developments contend they discourage pedestrians and transit riders and have no place on the future home of light rail. Another big fight, at Interstate 94 and Snelling Avenue, could soon erupt over a proposed Home Depot and Best Buy.

    To get the design center going, community planning group University United received $125,000 from the Minneapolis Foundation, which University United says will go toward its goal of operating the U-Plan studio for at least four days a week over the next two years. All services are free, at least in the initial stages.

    Participants will be able to use the mapping software while analyzing area demographics, traffic counts, property values and other characteristics along the Central Corridor, said staffer Julia Burman, who has applied some of those tools through her work at the Northeast Community Development Corp. in Minneapolis. Seeing that kind of data plotted on a map allows folks to better grasp the bigger picture of their communities, Burman said.

    District councils that use the center also might find it easier to visualize the kind of development they want to see, with the use of software that can create images of buildings of various heights and sizes in relation to the existing streetscape.

    Some of the community councils have expressed interest in using the center as they rethink uses for the Unidale Mall site as well as an upcoming redevelopment project on North Snelling Avenue. Two private property owners also have signed up to use the studio, said University United's Brian McMahon.

    McMahon has enlisted GIS support from students at Macalester College, the University of Minnesota and the University of St. Thomas.

    Starting next spring, architects with the American Institute of Architects-Minnesota will share their expertise at the studio at workshops designed to envision new development along the avenue by individual blocks. Tim Griffin, of the St. Paul on the Mississippi Design Center, will oversee the program.

    Laura Yuen can be reached at lyuen@pioneerpress.com or 651-228-5498.

    If you go

    The U-Plan Community Planning Studio will host an open house from noon to 7 p.m. today, with a demonstration beginning at 4:30 p.m. Visit www.universityunited.com or call 651-641-0293 for more information.
    What luck! A random assemblage of words never sounded less intelligent.

+ Reply to thread

More at Cyburbia

  1. Replies: 1
    Last post: 22 Jan 2010, 11:14 AM
  2. Public participation GIS
    Information Technology
    Replies: 3
    Last post: 10 Mar 2008, 8:25 AM
  3. Stimulating public participation?
    Make No Small Plans
    Replies: 21
    Last post: 31 Jul 2006, 10:28 AM
  4. Replies: 19
    Last post: 12 Sep 2005, 12:48 PM
  5. Public participation
    Make No Small Plans
    Replies: 0
    Last post: 28 Jul 2000, 1:46 PM