Citizen Participation and Engagement in a Diverse and Sometimes Skeptical City
Friday, October 19, 2018
9:45 a.m. - 11 a.m. EDT
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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 (http://tomorrow.norwalkct.org/). 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, email@example.com