Citizen Participation and Engagement in a Diverse and Sometimes Skeptical City

APA Connecticut Chapter


Friday, October 19, 2018
9:45 a.m. - 11 a.m. EDT

CM | 1.25

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Norwalk, population 90,000, is a socioeconomically diverse city in coastal Fairfield County. In 2017 three City departments were simultaneously updating three redevelopment plans, preparing a citywide parking study, and undertaking the City’s 2018 master plan.  City staff determined that a unified engagement strategy was needed for these (and future) planning efforts in order to increase the number of voices brought into the planning process and to be responsive to the concerns of some Norwalk-ers over a lack of inter-departmental communication and coordination.   

City staff will present Norwalk’s development and implementation of a long-term citizen participation program/platform, Norwalk Tomorrow (  The newly launched program/platform:

-Provides an easy-to-use, interactive website and mobile-based responsive platform. Citizens quickly retrieve data, submit forms, and find the information they need.

 -Includes a communication strategy that includes reaching out and broadcasting to citizens on a routine basis via email, text, social media, blogs, advertisements, and in-person meetings.

 -Has clear goals, objectives and measurements.

 City staff will discuss various outreach methods including social media, focus groups, interviews, intercept surveys, door-to-door questions, traditional mailings and digital and print media. We will outline our successes and failures and discuss how we have overcome initial skepticism and complaints. 



Steven Kleppin

Invited Speaker

Steve Kleppin, AICP, was hired in October 2016 to lead the City of Norwalk’s Planning and Zoning Department. He began his planning career in 2001 in the City of Stamford. In 2005, he became Assistant Town Planner for the Town of New Canaan, CT and then was named the ... Read More

Katheryn Hebert

Invited Speaker

Kathryn Hebert is the Director of the Norwalk Parking Authority providing leadership and management of the organization. She has 30+ years of experience in fiscal and financial management, marketing and branding, organizational positioning and strategic planning. Kathryn assists the City’s economic vitality by creating marketing, neighborhood relations, advocacy and ... Read More

Tami Strauss

Invited Speaker

Tami Strauss has been the Director of Community Development Planning at the Norwalk Redevelopment Agency since 2013. She has 25 years of experience in urban planning, commercial real estate investment, grant-writing and project management. In Norwalk, Ms. Strauss oversees planning activities and studies in Norwalk’s urban core, administers the ... Read More

Sebrina Church

Invited Speaker

Sabrina Church is a Community Development Planner at the Norwalk Redevelopment Agency since 2017. A Norwalk native, she is a recent graduate of the Master of Planning Program at the University of Southern California. Sabrina assists in overseeing planning activities and studies in Norwalk’s urban core, manages and administers ... Read More

Contact Info

Steven Kleppin,