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Traditional engagement has advantages that will never grow obsolete. Even for tech-savvy citizens, real live public meetings, events, and workshops hold the value of the human touch. Face-to-face…

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When it came time to engage citizens in a recent Master Planning process, the City of Lowell, Massachusetts opted for an unorthodox approach: an interactive online game. In order to engage a…

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When it comes to online conversations and forums, the role of the facilitator has become essential in supporting a participatory process. But how has the role of the facilitator evolved with the…

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Social media and new technologies can bring new ways for communities to interact. Yet the growth in online technologies is a fast moving picture with potentially good and bad outcomes. In recent…

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The City of Christchurch, New Zealand was devastated by a series of earthquakes. The largest, on the 4 September 2010 wrecked havoc in the central city, but the second quake on 22 February killed…

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At some point in time, planners might have had the option to create their plans without including the public and to simply present the final product at a workshop. And we know how that goes, duck…

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Storytelling has long been used to connect people to each other and to celebrate the past, but a handful of communities today see storytelling as the way to a better future. The three communities…

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As planners, architects, and passionate urbanists, we regularly ponder new ways to engage the public and get them motivated to be involved in planning projects. Besides the new tools for public…

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Many municipalities across the country have been exploring recent Gov2.0 tools, including “ideation” platforms, in hopes of finding ways to help combat common issues of towns losing money, property…

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In small towns, citizens can attend town hall meetings, and vote directly on major changes to the community, while in larger cities, allowing every resident to have a voice in shaping his…

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