Civic Engagement

Public Comment

What the Academic Literature Says About Civic Engagement

A literature review notes three big themes and challenges to emerge from a year's worth of intellectual investigation of civic engagement.

January 2, 2020 - Data-Smart City Solutions


Uncertain Future of Portland’s Neighborhood Associations Causing Controversy

A proposal to dissolve the groups has led to a debate about their purpose and who really benefits from them.

July 18, 2019 - Oregon Live

man looking at computer screen

The Good and the Bad of Planning Websites

Students review municipal planning department websites in cities with more than 50,000 people to identify strengths and weaknesses. This post shares examples of the use of websites for information sharing and engagement.

April 3, 2017 - Jennifer Evans-Cowley


The Wisdom of Engaging Nervous Cyclists

It was clear to the City of Toronto that engaging less confident cyclists that make up 60% of the population, yet seldom come to community meetings, might be the key to dramatic mode shifts in the city. Here's how it happened.

March 13, 2017 - Dave Biggs

Gainesville Park

Gainesville Turns Abandoned Industrial Hub Into Innovative Park

Gainesville turns contaminated land into a contemporary public greenspace to serve as the city's “Central Park."

January 17, 2017 - Modern Cities

Facebook's Live Video Has Consequences for Local Governments

Localities face differing requirements from state to state when it comes to using social media. Are you ready for live video?

April 27, 2016 - Government Technology

A Detroit Design School Seeks a Seat at the Table

Academic institutions can play a major role in enriching the communities they operate in. Amy Deines, interim dean of the College of Architecture and Design at Lawrence Technological University in Detroit, discusses the city and school's trajectory.

March 28, 2016 - Doggerel

Looking for a Kickstart: City Design Method Cards

The same team that created Cards Against Urbanity is back with an eagerly anticipated new engagement product called City Design Method Cards.

March 16, 2016 - Planetizen

Roman Forum

When Conversations Turn Ugly: How to Understand Online Dialogue

Imagine that public meeting that explodes in heated argument. You've likely seen the same thing online. Learn about tools for analyzing online public engagement.

March 7, 2016 - Jennifer Evans-Cowley

Civic Engagement

Rating the Effectiveness of Eight Approaches to Civic Engagement

Code for America has released an Engagement Standard that provides concepts for measuring the quality of new engagement platform technology—not a bad tool to have in the perpetual quest to increase the quality of engagement processes.

December 19, 2015 - User Experience Magazine


Street Harassment: An Issue for Planners?

Women and men experience public spaces differently. It is all too common for women to experience street harassment when in public spaces. Nina Flores explores the ways that this issue is being combatted in the online public realm.

November 3, 2015 - Jennifer Evans-Cowley

The Impressive Story of Florida's 15-Year-Old Citizen Planner

Dylan Gentile, a 15-year-old resident of DeFuniak Springs, Florida, offers inspiration in the form of proactive, positive engagement with the built environment, and already an impressive resume of accomplishments.

March 7, 2015 - CityLab

Citizens in Central Arkansas Imagine the Future with Interactive Online Plans

How do you create a plan document that grabs the attention of your audience and generates feedback? In Central Arkansas, citizens are exploring and experiencing an interactive online draft plan that makes participation easy and fun.

December 17, 2014 - Engaging Cities

Los Angeles Civic Innovation Lab

The Next Frontier of Engagement: Civic Innovation Labs

The recent growth in civic innovation in city halls throughout the country has led to taxpayer investment in private sector organizations addressing social issues, but do these programs really lead to tangible, broad, citizen benefit?

November 12, 2014 - Maayan Dembo

Advantages and Disadvantages of Three Online Engagement Approaches

With advancements in the infrastructure and design of websites comes new ways to engage the public. In this article, Karin Brandt, CEO and co-founder of coUrbanize, details what to consider when launching a civic engagement platform.

October 13, 2014 - Karin Brandt

6 Questions to Consider for Digital Public Engagement Planning

Digital engagement is the latest buzz when it comes to public participation. If your town is thinking about diving into the digital realm, consider these six questions.

September 25, 2014 - CommunityMatters

A Massive List of Tools for Digital Public Engagement

Here are 50 tools for online engagement. These digital platforms can help local government consult, collaborate with, and empower citizens in planning decisions.

September 4, 2014 - CommunityMatters

Public Meeting

How Civic Engagement Platforms Can Bring Back the Expertise of Urban Planners

The increasing use of online civic engagement platforms offers a chance for planners to improve the planning process—that is, if they take full advantage of the opportunities presented by the new technology to showcase their expertise.

July 24, 2014 - Karin Brandt

Civic Engagement

5 Innovative Tech Solutions for Civic Disengagement

Communities have a growing number of technological resources available to face the challenges posed by a growing population and a resource constrained world.

May 20, 2014 - Tom Spengler

Can Mayors Help Architects Stay Relevant?

According to an opinion piece by Mimi Zeiger, "urban magistrates are appearing more frequently as personas on the architectural scene as designers tackle questions of the fate of the city." What can design-savvy mayors offer architects?

May 7, 2014 - Dezeen

Top Books

An annual review of books related to planning.

Top Websites

The best of the Internet—since 2002.

Top Apps

Planning apps for a brave new world.

Top Schools

The definitive ranking of graduate planning programs.

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Planning for Universal Design

Learn the tools for implementing Universal Design in planning regulations.