Pivoting: Community Engagement in a Pandemic

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Certification Maintenance

CM | 0.75

Learning Outcomes

  • Accept inevitable change and instability and develop an attitude that is open to flexibility and adaptation in planning.
  • Discover new tools and approaches for virtual and hybrid engagement.
  • Plan your project with the expectation of change, be agile, and develop your planner's toolkit.

More Course Details

How do planners conduct critical community engagement and encourage public participation in planning when a global pandemic creates constant uncertainty and confines them to personal spaces?

The Prince George’s County (Maryland) Planning Department was tasked with working through this challenge and engaging marginalized, jaded communities fearful of the planning process. Planners had to think more critically about engaging hard-to-reach populations in the plan area and representing community diversity in the plan. These challenges compelled the team to take an iterative, multifaceted approach to public participation, make information more accessible, and conduct all virtual engagement bilingually.

Speakers share why foresight, flexibility, design-oriented thinking, and innovative solutions are important to planning and inclusive community engagement. They discuss challenges faced and lessons learned for the hybrid future of planning.