New Outreach Tools Reshape the Relationship Between Citizens and Government

Driven by an explosion of online tools, cities across the country are looking beyond the traditional public hearing to rethink how to increase citizen involvement in decision-making and reshape the relationship between citizens and government.

"Citizen engagement is coming of age," observes Rob Gurwitt. "Local governments are experimenting as never before, pushed by the excruciating decisions that come with tight budgets, the ubiquity of social media and the development of new online deliberation tools. Behind it is a recognition that the time-worn public hearing may not be the best and is certainly not the only way to interact with the public."

While opinions differ on the goals and methods for increasing civic participation, "local governments across the country now seem to be at a tipping point," writes Gurwitt. “'We’re in a period of great ferment,' says James Svara, a political scientist at Arizona State University who studies public engagement efforts. 'Governments are trying all these things, and eventually it will become a standard practice and we’ll see a new consensus about what it all means.'”

Full Story: The Demise of the Public Hearing

Comments

building block set

NEW! Build the world you want to see

Irresistible block set for adults when placed on a coffee table or desk, and great fun for kids.
$25

Prepare for the AICP* Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $245

Essential Readings in Urban Planning

Planning on taking the AICP* Exam? Register for Planetizen's AICP * Exam Preparation Course to save $25.
AICP CTP Storefont Display

The first online AICP* CTP exam prep class

Are you ready to take the AICP* Certified Transportation Planner exam?
Priced at $245 for May exam!