Public Participation

Adams Morgan pedestrian zone during COVID-19 pandemic

The Slow Streets Reckoning

Slow streets programs provided a quick short-term solution and paved the way for some permanent street closures and realignments. Now, these programs are getting a second look as community groups react to the changes.

January 19, 2021 - Bloomberg CityLab

Coronavirus and Transportation

Pandemic Planning Must Reconcile With the Inequities of the Past

The ongoing debate about the role of marginalized communities in the emergency planning programs of the pandemic has now been detailed on the pages of the New York Times.

July 21, 2020 - The New York Times

Demonstration

Facing Contention: 21 Tips to Detox Public Engagement

Forces are aligning to increase polarization and tension in public dialog, and planners are increasingly caught in the middle. A recent workshop with 100 engagement experts resulted in a free eBook to help planners detox their public involvement.

March 8, 2018 - Dave Biggs

People

How Community Engagement Can Restore Trust in Government

Trust between the public and government agencies is low, and democracies are paralyzed without it. How can community engagement help restore trust? This post outlines the challenge and a process for solving it.

September 8, 2016 - Dave Biggs

Polling Place

Primaries vs. Caucuses from a Planner's Perspective

In the middle of presidential primary season, the debate about the caucus vs. primary processes is hot with criticisms being leveled on both sides. What can planners learn about this debate to help improve community engagement for planning?

April 20, 2016 - Dave Biggs

APA 2016 award

Community Engagement Highlights from APA 2016

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.

April 14, 2016 - Dave Biggs

Community Meeting

Is Face to Face Community Engagement Dying Out?

With disruptions at public meetings on the rise and a growing number of online engagement tools to choose from, is face to face community engagement destined to die out? What's at stake if we let that happen?

March 28, 2016 - Dave Biggs

Angry Man

What I Learned When an Angry Group Destroyed My Public Meeting

Introducing the Fiasco Files—a lighthearted look at those times when things went sideways in community engagement. This Fiasco File tells the story of an angry and vocal minority group and the havoc the raised at a public meeting.

March 14, 2016 - Dave Biggs

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

Accessibility

Tip of the Iceberg: Seeking Real Accessibility in Community Engagement

Do modern accessibility regulations go far enough to ensure fair access to all community members for public engagement activities? How can we design our planning processes to reach the broadest demographic?

February 23, 2016 - Dave Biggs

Citizen Planning Academies Build Capacity for Local Planning

Citizen Planning Academies build local leadership, increase awareness, and broaden involvement through community education. CommunityMatters highlights examples of citizen academies along with five reasons to start one in your city or town.

May 29, 2015 - CommunityMatters

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

Can the Tea Party, Property Rights Activists, and Planners Find Common Ground?

Dr. Karen Trapenberg Frick suggests that in public participation processes, planners may find common ground with Tea Party and property rights activists.

July 31, 2014 - California Planning and Development Report

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

Young Planners

A Call for a Youth Movement in the Planning Process

Most millennials and Gen Xers are either too busy or too disengaged to realize how the future of their hometowns is being shaped by people much older than they.

March 27, 2014 - Vancouver Sun

A collaborative art project

10 Lessons in More Engaging Citizen Engagement

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.

March 5, 2014 - Brent Toderian

United Nations Flags

How Agenda 21 Trumps Planning

Agenda 21, a nonbinding United Nations resolution signed in 1992 by 170 world leaders, was developed to encourage "sustainable development." Now it’s a political talking point that kills planning efforts all over the country.

February 27, 2014 - Next City

Crowd

Recommendations for Reviving Public Participation

Outdated frameworks for participation and cutbacks in services have soured the relationship between citizens and their governments. A new study suggests policies and legislation for reviving meaningful public engagement in governance.

January 7, 2014 - Governing

New Outreach Tools Reshape the Relationship Between Citizens and Government

Driven by an explosion of online tools, cities across the country are looking beyond the traditional public hearing to rethink how to increase citizen involvement in decision-making and reshape the relationship between citizens and government.

October 11, 2013 - Governing

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.