Public Meetings

Close-up of microphone on speaker's dais with blurred crowd sitting in bright high school gym in background.

The Problem With Tone Policing

One common criticism of pro-housing advocacy is that supporters of new housing are (in the words of one commentator) “arrogant.” But there is no reason to believe that this is any less true of their opponents.

October 24, 2023 - Michael Lewyn

View of Alexandria, Virginia with brick three-story townhomes on Potomac River bank.

Alexandria Residents Weigh in on Zoning Reform

The city’s proposed ‘Zoning for Housing’ is drawing criticism from multiple sides.

October 15, 2023 - DCist

Glass-topped conservatory building with bronze statue in foreground at Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden

Community Engagement at L.A. County Parks

The L.A. County Department of Parks and Recreation is hosting over 60 public meetings in September to connect with the public and gather input to inform decision-making and resource allocation.

September 6, 2023 - Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation

Crowd Community Meeting

The Problem With Public Input

The current community input process often amplifies the voices of already powerful groups who act to stop valuable projects for their own benefit.

April 28, 2022 - The Atlantic

Aerial view of Clark Street

Chicago Seeks Public Input on Clark Street Improvements

The city is creating a strategy for improvements in the Clark Street corridor to improve the area's walkability and stimulate the local economy.

February 1, 2022 - City of Chicago

View south along New Jersey State Route 17 at the exit for Saddle River

New Jersey Affordable Housing Plan Testimony Concludes After 14 Months

A housing plan in one of the wealthiest zip codes in the country has stirred more than a year of controversy.

January 3, 2022 -

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


Vancouver Considers Easing Rezoning for Social Housing

The proposal would let non-profits build housing developments of up to six stories without a public rezoning process in mid-rise neighborhoods.

April 29, 2021 - The Province

Brooklyn, New York City

Lawsuit Challenges Zoom Hearings on Gowanus Rezoning Plan

Planning departments relying on online public hearing processes will want to keep monitor this lawsuit in New York City.

January 18, 2021 - Brooklyn Paper

Public Meeting

It's Time to Move On From Community Consensus

Public meetings often disprove the notion that communities have a unified stance on any issue. With this in mind, we must move past trying to find consensus and focus on uplifting the most marginalized voices.

September 14, 2020 - Shelterforce Magazine

Angry Public Meeting

The State of Public Meetings

Dating back to a tradition begun in the 1630s, public meetings are an essential part of the political systems, and planning processes, of U.S. cities. Public meetings are also broken, according to this article.

February 13, 2020 - Curbed

Chicago skyline

A Wake Up Call for Planning Commissioners

Planning commissioners play an essential role in monitoring issues and projects of critical importance to the welfare of entire neighborhoods and cities. Why then, do so many commissioners seem to be sleeping on the job?

November 23, 2015 - Chicago Now

Rural Texans Air Objections to High Speed Rail

Parts of rural Texas sound a bit like the outspoken high speed rail opponents in California's Central Valley in their reaction to the Texas Central Railway's bullet train which maintains strong support at the terminal cities of Houston and Dallas.

November 24, 2014 - The New York Times

When Debating a Controversial Plan, Does 30 Percent Equal a Majority?

In the face of vocal opposition, Vancouver's city council approved a proposed bike route and greenway. For one former councillor, if a third of the speakers in hostile public meetings support a project, that's enough to indicate a silent majority.

August 1, 2013 - The Globe and Mail

Public Meeting

What Not to Say at a Public Meeting

Unfortunately, many of us have likely suffered a bout of foot-in-mouth syndrome during a past presentation. Edward W. Erfurt IV lists the 10 worst things to say during a public meeting, in the hopes of clearing then from our minds.

January 21, 2013 - Restless Urbanist

Prizes for Public Participation

Looking to spur civic engagement, officials in Boulder, Colorado are experimenting with unusual incentives for attendees of city-sponsored meetings.

October 25, 2010 - Daily Camera

Friday Funny: Public Comment Gold

A sample of public comments from meetings in the eccentrically out-there city of Santa Cruz, California.

July 31, 2009 - SoWat TV

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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.