Community Engagement

White neoclassical building with cupola and City Hall lettering on front.

Using AI to Analyze Public Comments

A new tool is designed to help local governments organize and understand large volume of community input on projects.

April 4, 2024 - StateScoop

View of Chicago river and waterfront with boats at night.

Designing the Path to a Consequential Place

What is public interest design? And what should we be considering as we shape a process that fully embraces and realizes a project’s public interest potential? Understanding these key principles and characteristics can help.

January 22, 2024 - Studio Civic | Pulse

City Planners

Why Aren’t There More Planners?

Planning can be a great career for socially conscious individuals, but university programs are struggling to attract new students to the field. A trio of academics are raising awareness about the field through community activation.

July 27, 2023 - The Conversation

A pergola with a grill is located in a grassy park, across the street from single-family housing in a suburban style.

New Public Hearing Requirements Delay Completion of Reston’s New Comprehensive Plan

One of the country’s most prominent master-planned communities has spent several years working on an a comprehensive plan update. The plan will have to wait a little longer as the Fairfax County, Virginia community adjusts to new state laws.

July 16, 2023 - FFX Now

Gray-haired Asian man wearing glasses sitting at wooden table reading documents

How to Make Documents More Accessible With Color Contrast

There are many ways planners can be more accessible in their work. This article will briefly touch on color contrast as one of the ways to improve accessibility in planning documents.

July 11, 2023 - Ronnique Bishop

Waterfront walkway with benches and Detroit skyline in the background

Shaping a 15-Minute City Vision for Detroit and Cleveland Using Data-Assisted Modeling

How master plans in the two cities hope to transform their historic, and historically underutilized, waterfronts.

February 19, 2023 - Trevor McIntyre

View into gray stone train tunnel with visible opening on other side

Creating a Meaningful Community Input Process in Baltimore

Seeking to avoid the mistakes of the past, the city undertook a robust community engagement process when planning the reconstruction of the Baltimore & Potomac Tunnel.

February 14, 2023 - Next City

Multicolored four-story New York City buildings with storefronts on ground floor

New York City Council Wants Community Engagement to Lead Affordable Housing Development

New York Mayor Eric Adams and City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams have proposed very different responses to the city’s lack of affordable housing.

December 21, 2022 - Brownstoner

Mount Rainier

New Community Engagement Practices for Seattle’s Comprehensive Plan Update

A major update of Seattle’s comprehensive plan is just getting under way, with new opportunities for local groups to get involved with outreach and engagement.

May 16, 2022 - Capitol Hill Seattle Blog

Domino Park

Reimagining Public Space in the Post-COVID Era

The pandemic forced a large-scale reexamination of how public spaces and urban form impact public health and equity. Now, policymakers can learn from those innovations to plan for the future of cities.

March 16, 2022 - Next City

A group of people gather around an information booth to share ideas about the future of South Street in Philadelphia.

It's Time for Public Participation to Evolve With Transportation Planning

A manifesto by planning and transportation professionals committing to hearing all voices during public engagement processes.

November 15, 2021 - Marisa Denker

Contracting with the Community

To connect with hard-to-reach communities, a Twin Cities agency diverted some of its consulting budget away from national firms and to organizations that already had those relationships.

November 12, 2021 - Shelterforce Magazine

Public Meeting Speaker

The Consequences of Community Engagement

Long, onerous environmental review processes focused on public input can cause major delays and cost increases for infrastructure and transportation projects.

September 9, 2021 - Governing

River Tyne

An Experiment in Civic Activism Aims to Transform Planning

A pioneering architect in Newcastle, U.K. tries to open planning to the people with a new "urban room" for community engagement.

June 10, 2021 - The Guardian

Beaufort County, South Carolina

An Open Space Plan for Cultural Landscapes, Resilience, and Growth in the Coastal Southeast

The Beaufort County Greenprint Plan, completed in 2020, offers an innovative model of open space planning integrated within a larger planning framework.

May 25, 2021 - Emily McCoy

Griffith Park

Seeking Public Input on Regional and Rural Park Needs

As part of a study, the Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation is conducting a survey to better understand the use of facilities like beaches, natural areas, open spaces, regional parks, trails, and local parks in rural areas.

May 14, 2021 - Urbanize LA

Bus Stop

Cities Improving Community Engagement By Paying for It

Rochester, MN, joins the ranks of cities realizing that community input is worth paying for.

May 11, 2021 - Next City

Community Meeting

Why Participatory Planning Fails (and How to Fix It)

“Having participated in several of the I-70 meetings, I got to see firsthand how community input really just meant show up, complain, and we’re going to do the opposite of what you’re asking,” says one Denver councilmember.

May 4, 2021 - Next City

Coronavirus and Transportation

Tech and the Post-Pandemic City

To steer American cities into the future, public and private sectors—and citizens—must work together to build broad, lasting support around complicated issues such as transparency and data privacy.

April 6, 2021 - Sara Maffey

Empty Swings

Students Contribute to Park Design Process

As a class assignment, nearly 150 high school students shared their ideas for improvements to Sorensen Park in Lake Los Angeles, California.

February 16, 2021 - Antelope Valley Press

City Planner I

Department of Housing and Community Development

City Planner II

Department of Housing and Community Development

City Planner Supervisor

Department of Housing and Community Development

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.