A recent Next City feature speaks to Cambridge’s approach and key lessons that could apply in other communities. The article speaks to four ideas for making planning efforts more inclusive:
- Rethink the public meetings in order to make them more inviting and accessible;
- Bring the meetings outside to reach people where they already are;
- Make your communications opportunities to learn, which can increase the level of understanding for planning; and
- Don’t wait until the end of your planning process to start implementing so that you can show early results from your plan.
These ideas complement NP’s own thinking on ways to make planning efforts more inclusive.
Increasing community participation requires embracing new technologies (e.g. online tools and “serious games”) and recalling the old ways (e.g. storytelling and community gatherings). It’s hard work but the results - a plan with more inclusive ideas and greater community buy-in – speak for themselves.