Thinking Outside the Box: Making the Case for Authentic Community Engagement

APA Colorado Chapter


Friday, October 6, 2017
1:25 p.m. - 2:25 p.m. MDT

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Between the competing demands on people’s time and the limited capacity of planners, is authentic community engagement really possible? The Eagle County Plan4Health project, through the support of Del Corazon Consulting, piloted a cross-sector strategy for engagement and tapped into existing data to eliminate the need for some future outreach. Learnings from the Plan4Health project will be shared and Del Corazon Consulting will lead activities for thinking more creatively and inclusively about community engagement.

Learning Objectives:

The importance of an authentic community engagement process for planning projects.

Understand how to assess the level of engagement necessary for a public process.

Ideas for collaborating with other entities to increase capacity for authentic community engagement and reduce duplication of efforts.


Topic Area



What is Authentic Community Engagement and Why Should Planners Care?


Small group discussion

Community engagement efforts participants have been involved in, what worked, didn’t work, and WHY.

Plan4Health Project Example

Brief results from Eagle County’s interviews about community engagement with municipal staff and elected officials that highlighted challenges and opportunities.

Determining the Appropriate Community Engagement Approach.


Hand-outs and presentation

Introduce IAP2 community engagement scale

Short-Term Challenges and Long-Term Benefits Of Authentic Community Engagement.



Why an authentic community engagement process can often save time, money etc. in the long-run. Also, how thinking about community engagement as a long-term strategy versus a project specific need can pay off in the long-term

Plan4Health Project Example

Neighborhood Navigator Program

Making the Case to Work Across Sectors and With Other Organizations on Engagement Strategies.



Resources are finite, Planning can gain from working with other sectors and organizations to help inform on Planning projects. Planners don’t always have to own the community engagement process.

Plan4Health Project Example

Eagle County data sharing and dashboard project

Conclusion/Wrap Up: Why an authentic process is worth the time and effort and where participants can get more information on designing a public process and collaborating across sectors.



Marjo Curgus

Confirmed Speaker


Kristen Valdez, AICP

Confirmed Speaker

Kris Valdez is a planner with the Eagle County Community Development Department. She has been involved in the planning profession for 20 years with various public agencies and private businesses. Kris has been professionally published in Planning, Denver Business Journal, Home Business Magazine, Museum Store Association, Women’s Edition, Lone ... Read More

Katie Haas

Confirmed Speaker

Katie Haas is the Healthy Communities Supervisor at Eagle County Public Health and Environment. In this role, oversees Katie enables the implementation of evidence-based strategies that support healthy eating and active living, and oversees staff focused on tobacco cessation and mental health programs. Katie fosters partnerships and collaboration for healthy ... Read More

Contact Info

Shelia Booth,