Public Participation Techniques

At the heart of the local planning process is public participation — without it, comprehensive plans and implementing regulations will not truly reflect community needs and desires.

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Do You Give More than Lip Service to Public Participation?

Do You Give More than Lip Service to Public Participation?

When we give a presentation, post documents to a web page, or announce the preferred plan, we are Telling. It’s one-way communication from us to the public. When we ask members of the public questions, and then simply write down their answers, we are Asking. It’s one-way as well, but from them to us. Here’s the problem: while both Telling and Asking are needed, they are nowhere near enough.

Come to Order illustration by Paul Hoffman used for Contentious Public Hearings

Our Public Hearings Resource Guide

Take a look at the latest addition to the PlannersWeb. Our 12-part Resource Guide will provide you tips and ideas on how to better manage public hearings. The Resource Guide also points you to other relevant online information and documents.

crowd of people in silhouette

How Wise Is Your Crowd?

When a concept like the “wisdom of the crowd” suggests that we need to rely even more on public input to develop
a master plan or a new zoning ordinance, the initial reaction may well be deep skepticism. Yet, is it possible to tap into the knowledge of a large and diverse group of people?

photo of meeting from Joel Russell article

Building Your Planning Process From the Ground Up

You’re at the final hearing on a comp plan amendment your commission has been working on for over a year. Suddenly, seemingly out of nowhere, opposition erupts as rumors spread about what they are about to do to us. How you can minimize the chances of this happening.

dialing a phone number

Dialing for Citizens

You’ve worked hard to organize a community visioning initiative. There’s just one problem: how do you get citizens to participate? How do you persuade a cross-section of your community to attend vision meetings and share their ideas about the future? Pick up the phone, recommends civic consultant Otis White.