Planning an Effective and Engaging Community Process

APA Minnesota Chapter


Friday, September 29, 2017
9:45 a.m. - 10:45 a.m. CDT

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Community engagement is a requirement for many design and planning processes. LHB’s Landscape Architecture and Planning Group has developed a philosophy and set of tools that works well in a variety of situations. This interactive discussion will explore our approach and its positive impact on design and planning decision making. This session will use a presentation, sample tools, and recent project case studies to explore the practice of community engagement. Topics for this interactive session will include:

• Planning to plan: Go beyond deciding if you need two or three open houses to really consider who you want to reach and what you want to learn from them. A thoughtful, written plan is the first step in planning an inclusive and effective process.

• Which tools to use when: With a “new” tool emerging every day (most of them recycled from some other tool), it is important to know which one you need to get meaningful outcomes. This brief overview of the most common tools focuses on making smart investments to reach the right people.

• Goal tracking: Engagement is expensive so make sure that the tools you’re using are actually working by tracking goals and metrics. Engagement should be a flexible and responsive process, but only if goal tracking is available to help correct course.

• How to run a fun and productive public meeting: Meetings are still at the core of most engagement efforts, so doing them well is key (and goes way beyond bringing comment cards). By focusing more on the human interactions of the meeting, rather than meeting content, you can get much more out of each meeting.

• What to do with what you learn from the community: Engagement should directly feed your planning and design efforts so be sure to connect the dots.


Lydia Major

Lydia works with clients and communities to create vibrant public, commercial, and residential places. She uses a collaborative design process to develop solutions that benefit the client, the community, and the environment. Her projects include community, education, park, trail, and transportation system planning projects, where her skills with public engagement ... Read More

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