2019 National Planning Conference

The Golden Circle of Online Engagement

Tuesday, April 16, 2019 from 10:15 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. PDT

CM | 1.25

Activity Type: Educational Sessions

Activity ID: NPC198184

Location: 3014

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  • Identify where and how online tools can enhance planning or coding projects.
  • Learn how to evaluate target populations and reporting requirements for the purpose of tool selection.
  • Find out how to manage risks to online engagement with associated mitigation strategies.


Public engagement is a vital component of any planning project. As online tools become more sophisticated and accessible, planners are starting to use them in greater numbers to help them reach their communities more effectively. How do you know which ones to use? When and how do you account for all the nuances of projects and locations? Drawing from case studies of current and past projects of all types, as well as dozens of collective years of experience, this session will focus on key principles that lead to successful online engagement.

Topics will include:
Choosing the Right Tools at the Right Time in the Planning Process
Setting Goals, Measuring for Success and Responding Accordingly
Dealing with Outrage, Trolling and Other Over-Anticipated Issues
Meeting Language Needs in the Community
Merging online and In-Person Engagement Efforts
10 Commandments of Online Engagement for Planners

Attendees will leave with a steady reminder of what we've seen work--and fail--in the online space.

Session Speakers

David E. White, FAICP
Burlington Planning Dept.
Burlington, VT

Sandrine Thibault, AICP
Town Planning & Urban Design Collaborative (TPUDC)
Orleans, ON

Amanda Nagl
Bang the Table
Windsor, CO