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Public Participation

Public Participation and Social Justice

TermDefinition
Design charrette an intensive collaborative effort that brings together citizens, stakeholders, and staff to develop a detailed design plan for a specific area. A charrette may be held over one or more days. This is an effective technique for quickly developing consensus. Typically, small groups are formed, with each group focusing on a design solution for an area. Each group has a facilitator who is typically a design professional. In many cases, the local chapter of the AIA may serve as facilitators.
Delphi Method a structured process of public participation with the intent of coming to a consensus decision. Created in 1944 for the U.S. Army. A panel is asked to complete a series of questionnaires. The questions are typically written as hypotheses. After each round of questioning, feedback on the responses is presented to the group anonymously. Participants are encouraged to revise their answers based on the replies heard. Over time, the range of answers decreases and the group converges towards a single solution.
Nominal Group Technique Group process involving problem identification, solution generation, and decision making that can be used for groups of any size that want to come to a decision by vote. Allows for everyone's opinions to be considered by starting with every group member sharing their ideas briefly. Someone creates a list of the ideas. Participants then rank the solutions. The rankings are then discussed. This can lead to further ideas or combinations of ideas. The solution with the highest ranking is selected.
Facilitation uses a person who does not have a direct stake in the outcome of a meeting to help groups that disagree work together to solve complex problems and come to a consensus. The facilitator is typically a volunteer from the community who is respected by all groups. In some cases, a professional facilitator is hired to assist in running the meeting.
Mediation is a method in which a neutral third party facilitates discussion in a structured multi-stage process to help parties reach a satisfactory agreement. The mediator assists the parties in identifying and articulating their interests and priorities. The agreement typically specifies measurable, achievable, and realistic solutions. The final agreement is typically in writing. This is a dispute-resolution process that is typically used to help resolve conflict without involving the court system.
Public hearing is typically associated with the Planning Commission, City Council, or other governing bodies. These meetings allow formal citizen input at the end of a planning process. Public hearings are typically mandated by law. Hearings are typically ineffective at building public participation and consensus.
Visual preference survey a technique that can be used to assist citizens in evaluating physical images of natural and built environments. Citizens are asked to view and evaluate a wide variety of pictures depicting houses, sites, building styles, streetscapes, etc. Scores are used to indicate whether a design is what a citizen sees as appropriate for their community.
Key principles for consensus Design the process to fit the stakeholders' needs; Include all appropriate special interest groups; Identify shared common interests; Provide all stakeholders with information that is credible; Use professional facilitators where appropriate; Validate the results of the consensus-building exercise.
Standard State Zoning Enabling Act 1926. Recommended public hearing process for zoning ordinances.
Standard City Planning Enabling Act 1928. Referenced the importance of bringing the public into the decision making process.
Back of the Yards Movement Saul Alinsky 1930s.
Economic Opportunity Act 1964. First to specifically reference engaging the public in decision making.
Advocacy Planning 1965 Paul Davidoff - Focused on participation of those in subgroups. Engaging different stakeholders.
Sherry Arnstein 1969. Ladder of Participation. Can organize ladder into three categories. Citizen Power, Tokenism, Nonparticipation.
Social Justice 60s and 70s. Fair and equal rights for everyone.
Coalition Building Groups of people coming together for a specific cause
Consensus Building Diverse group, work together to arrive at a solution.
Conflict Resolution Facilitator or mediator can assist.
Appreciative inquiry Summits are multi-day large events designed to bring people together to agree on changes that are needed in the community or organization. The summits last from two to five days and have between 100 and 250 people.
Future Search a 2.5 day event designed to result in a common vision of the future. The event is organized into five tasks of approximately 3-4 hours each. 1. Create timeline of the community. 2. Create a group mind map. 3. Identify highly differentiated points of view. 4. Identify common futures.
City Walk a technique used to sensitize people to community problems and opportunities. Community leaders reexperience their community and then draw on their observations to recommend planning policies or standards. Planners role is to provide instructions for the participants and record their observations.
Coffee Klatch Small meetings within neighborhood usually at a person’s home. typically have a professional facilitator
Focus Group Message testing forum with randomly selected members of target audience. Can also be used to obtain input on planning decisions.
Created by: gskbrew
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