Meaningful, inclusive public engagement is critical to achieve resilient, equitable, and inclusive communities that are livable for all. Traditional processes undermine these goals, enflaming an already deep mistrust of the very institutions charged with community stewardship. Stakeholders feel – with good reason – that such approaches are exclusive by design, especially in historically marginalized communities who are starved of the capacity to meaningfully participate.
New approaches are necessary if we are to help establish enforceable ground rules for developers, employers, and public agencies coming into a community. Particularly when markets switch from disinvestment to growth, equitable, transparent planning influenced by an informed, engaged resident base allows change to happen with, rather than to, a community.
This workshop-based session presents three approaches that aim to re-establish trust and level the playing field. Pittsburgh and Allentown city staff, and EvolveEA, will present examples of improvements to engagement practice that bolstered public trust, addressed equity issues, and improved planning outcomes: