February 10, 2009
Often, community engagement is treated as secondary to the "real planning" effort — the planning experts begin with a planning concept in mind before asking for feedback. However, informed engagement matters. When planners carefully structure an initial meeting with the residents, community members can engage in an informed, expanded, and asset-based discussion about the potential of their community and present their own ideas, needs and wishes.
In this program, Ruth Wuorenma of Neighborhood Capital Institute discussed the importance of informed community engagement: why it matters, why many fear it, and how to organize a public process that balances the priorities of the stakeholders with best practices of the planning profession.