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The State of Public Meetings
Patrick Sisson writes on the subject of public meetings—surely a favorite subject of planners all over the Unite States. Public meetings are broken, pronounces the headline of the article, and there are plenty of anecdotes to back up the claim.
Sisson starts with a short history of public meetings, before sharing numerous studies that present evidence of the unrepresentative reality of public meetings, despite the democratic intentions of such gatherings, and describes the roots of the problems plaguing public meetings around the country.
Sisson also includes recommendations for solving the root problems with public meetings, citing the expertise and experience of professionals from the Greater Good Studio. Another big question examined in the article is whether public meetings, and by extension local control, is a useful tool for planning and democracy at all.
Looking for more anecdotes on the state of public meetings in U.S. cities, Sisson is also requesting contributions at #worstpublicmeeting on Twitter. Responses can also be found in the replies on the tweet below.
Neighborhood meetings, a cornerstone of local democracy & planning, can be biased, unrepresentative & devolve into screaming matches. I spoke w/experts to hear why they're broke & how to fix them. Tell me your meeting horror stories #worstpublicmeeting https://t.co/GXZppK2CsY
— Patrick Sisson (@patrickcsisson) February 12, 2020