illustration by Marc Hughes for the PlannersWeb


illustration by Marc Hughes for the PlannersWeb
For planning commissioners who have just concluded a heated public hearing, the happy citizens illustrated above must appear as a cruel joke. Perhaps, however, the citizens have just returned from a dynamic and exciting workshop helping to envision the community’s future!

Communications Word Collage

When Communication Goes One-Way

We claim in local government to want to have the community involved — we call it “public engagement” or “public feedback” or “stakeholder involvement” — but the fact is, most of the time we’re paying lip service to the idea, at best if we want to find solutions to the complex, tangled issues we face — we need dialogue, we need collaborators.

Don't (just) Ask; Don't (just) Tell

Don’t (just) Ask; Don’t (just) Tell

Collaboration should be the ultimate goal of our planning efforts. If we design our public engagement strategies to build Collaboration, we can do more than what our planning commissions can do alone. We can strengthen the full set of muscles we need to make the entire community better.

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?