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Wait, No One Told Me About This: From Outreach to Engagement

Despite what can seem like an exhaustive outreach process, with staff and resources dedicated to getting the word out about upcoming changes to a community, planners inevitably hear these words when a project is getting in the ground: “Wait, no one told me about this.”

In this session, hear how cities have gone from outreach to engagement, working with partners and communities in a more integrated manner, and eventually building projects with a high level of political support. The LA Bike coalition brings diverse communities together to improve the bicycling environment across a wide swath of communities in Los Angeles county. Multicultural Communities for Mobility gives a voice to residents who may not otherwise participate in city planning processes. Safe Routes to School has directly seen the difference between simple participation and active engagement, and the dramatic differences in outcome the two provide. Boston is beginning the challenging transition to hosting community conversations to share knowledge, rather than the typical design-display-defend approach.