The Tuesday Topic: Community Engagement
“Home” isn’t just the building in which we live, but also the community that surrounds and supports. Neighbors who care, businesses that serve, and amenities that nourish are what each of us seek when we choose where to live and work. The keys to success? Combining local expertise and resources with residents’ energy, ingenuity, and commitment. We believe resident engagement and leadership are essential for communities to realize their vision for a vibrant and welcoming place to call home. Community building and engagement work brings the talents, resources, and skills of people in a community together, increasing their collective capacity.
“We feel that the best design comes from community participation…” Through our experience with community engagement, we can implement several different strategies including:
Workshops with special interest groups (e.g. children, teens, and seniors) to gain feedback on their space needs.
Promotional literature and informational packets.
Board workshops to explain technical design and financial fundamentals for their public interactions.
Small group workshops.
Presentations to civic groups, clubs, and specific stakeholder groups.
Information for radio and newspaper interviews.
Public polling and surveys.
Community involvement is not simply a necessity of the planning process; it is foundation of the community. Easily forgotten in the complexities of development is that, at their most basic, places are about facilitating relationships between people. Communities are at their best when personalities come together to create a unification of identities without losing individuality. Through community involvement, we listen and understand the most deeply held values and collaborate for a successful and positive outcome.