Public Outreach

March 26, 2019, 11am PDT
To sway public opinion, the Orange County toll road agency hired a group of consultants. Critics say the cost and service delivered aren’t acceptable.
Los Angeles Times
February 19, 2019, 1pm PST
This article features the innovative outreach work of the Broward County Metropolitan Planning Organization, the North Jersey Transportation Planning Authority, and California High-Speed Rail, among others.
InTransition Magazine
January 22, 2019, 8am PST
New York and Chicago asked residents to suggest sites for new docking stations. Most were not put at those locations, but that doesn’t mean collecting public input is not a useful and important part of the planning process, say researchers.
CityLab
Feature
November 29, 2018, 5am PST
A toolbox for local governments to address inequality.
Nate Baker
January 2, 2017, 11am PST
Planners in an Atlanta suburb are using games tailored to adults and children to inform a new comprehensive plan.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Blog post
April 14, 2016, 5am PDT

As I do every year at the APA National Conference, I did my best to catch as many community engagement sessions as possible. Here are highlights, takeaways, and the common threads I noticed this year.

Dave Biggs
February 23, 2016, 7am PST
An article in CityLab says organizers and facilitators should avoid a few simple mistakes to help improve community meetings.
CityLab
May 12, 2014, 6am PDT
Michael Lejeune is the creative director for the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, and as such he's tasked with making transit cool in a city that long worshipped the automobile.
KCRW - DnA
April 21, 2014, 1pm PDT
A research team at MIT Urban Studies and Planning, led by Susan Silberberg, released a paper examining “the interactions between placemaking, community participation, and the expanding ways communities are collaborating to make great public places.”
Project For Public Spaces
Feature
March 5, 2014, 5am PST
With cities seeking to involve diverse voices in city-making to get beyond “the usual suspects,” Vancouver urbanists Brent Toderian and Jillian Glover examine how cities in their region are finding new ways to increase civic participation.
Brent Toderian, Jillian Glover
December 11, 2013, 12pm PST
After five years of work, D.C.'s Zoning Commission is not quite ready to consider changes to the city's 55-year-old zoning code. Additional public hearings have been scheduled after some groups asked for additional outreach.
The Washington Post
November 19, 2013, 7am PST
Tactical urbanism is transforming cityscapes around the world, but what would it mean to apply a "pop-up" approach to the planning process? A recent project in Santa Monica, CA allowed participants to evaluate public realm improvements in real-time.
Sustainable Cities Collective
October 23, 2013, 8am PDT
Community engagement efforts increasingly look to harness mobile devices and mobile applications to access, inform, and empower the public. However the mobile market is evolving at a fast pace, which complicates our understanding of what works best.
This Big City
September 14, 2013, 11am PDT
Rather than bringing a powerpoint presentation and ritzy renderings to a meeting with neighborhood residents, developer Omar Blaik brought blank sheets of paper. The result? A process devoid of the usual rancor and a denser design than zoning allows.
The Philadelphia Inquirer
August 7, 2013, 7am PDT
Looking to leverage cheap and easy social media tools to meet your citizen engagement mandate? Read. This. Now.
PlaceShakers
July 16, 2013, 9am PDT
After less than a year on the job, Vancouver's planning manager is under fire for controversial proposals. Do the recent misfires reflect poor messaging, tight budgets, and short timelines; or a more fundamental problem with the city's leaders?
The Globe and Mail
July 2, 2013, 5am PDT
Seeking to maximize the power of the Internet to expand public outreach efforts, a plethora of engagement platforms have proliferated in recent years. Government Technology looks at five of the most promising new models of civic engagement.
Government Technology
Feature
June 19, 2013, 4pm PDT
Land use disputes are increasingly taking up our time and producing unsatisfying results. A new approach to resolving conflict based on mutual gains may provide a better way to manage the most challenging situations.
Sean Nolon, Ona Ferguson, Patrick Field
June 14, 2013, 9am PDT
This week, outgoing Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa kicked off an ambitious five-year effort to revise L.A.'s outdated and unwieldy zoning code. The goal of the project is to create an accessible guide for transforming Los Angeles.
Daily News Los Angeles
May 21, 2013, 9am PDT
After participating in at least 27 planning processes over the last 15 years, residents of City Heights can be forgiven for wanting to actually see something built. Plentiful funds for planning, but meager funds for building, are causing frustration.
Voice of San Diego