Team Finland Future Watch Report, Innovative planning in the U.S., Engaging communities to build better places


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Team Finland Future Watch Report, Innovative planning in the U.S., Engaging communities to build better places

  1. 1. Innovative Planning in the U.S.: Engaging Communities to Build Better Places Dr. Robert Goodspeed Lacey Sigmon, Co-Author Douglas Plowman, Co-Author Seul Lee, Co-Author and Graphic Design Urban and Regional Planning Program Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Design University of Michigan Tekes – the Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation Tekes is the main public funding organisation for research, development and innovation in Finland. Tekes funds wide-ranging innovation activities in research communities, industry and service sectors and especially promotes cooperative and risk-intensive projects. Tekes’ current strategy puts strong emphasis on growth seeking SMEs. EngagingCommunitiesto BuildBetterPlacesInnovativePlanningintheU.S. Tekes is the main public funding organisation for research, development and innovation in Finland. Tekes funds wind-ranging innvation activities in research communities, industry and service sectors and especially promotes cooperative and risk-intensive projects. Tekes’ current strategy puts strong emphasis on growth seeking SMEs. FinPro is the national trade, internationalization and investment development organization in Finland. A public- private organization and part of the Ministry of Employment and the Economy Group, FinPro also works closely with other players in the Finnish innovation ecosystem. This research was made possible by: June 11,  2014 Dr. Robert Goodspeed Lacey Sigmon • Co-Author Douglas Plowman • Co-Author Seul Lee • Co-Author and Graphic Design (c) Regents of the University of Michigan, 2014 Figure: The First LIZ Project at Yearba Buena Lane  /  Source: Living Innovation Zones (
  2. 2. CONTENTS 00 01 INTRODUCTION 02  SETTINGTHECONTEXT 03 CASES 04  CASEDISCUSSIONANDSYNTHESIS 05  ENDNOTES 06 APPENDIX 02.1  Internet Use 1 3 5 7 25 26 28 28 29 31 35 9 21 15 6 03.1  Boston’s Innovation District: Economic Development & Placemaking 04.1  Nature of Planning 02.2  Civic Engagement Online 03.2  Chicago GO TO 2040: Novel Engagement Techniques 04.2  Citizen Engagement 04.3  Institutions for Urban Innovation 04.4  New Roles for Public & Private Stakeholders 04.5 Conclusions 02.3  Trends in Civic Engagement in Case Study Cities 03.3  San Francisco Mayor’s Office of Innovation: Sparking Innovation and Public & Private Partnership 02.4  New Forms of Participation
  3. 3. PLANNING PRACTICES Civic Engagement Public & Private Roles Institutions Over 20 years ago, Manuel Castells observed that political, economic, and technological changes were at work around the world: the Soviet Union had collapsed, high-tech industries were emerging, and the economy was becoming more interconnected. In the face of these developments Castells asked, “can planning change?”.1 As a socially embedded practice, urban planning reflects the unique characteristics of time and place. In recent years, a new wave of changes are sweeping over cities worldwide. New technologies continue to re-shape the economy, and one of the products of this innovation — the Internet — is transforming how city residents communicate with each other. Therefore our answer to Castells’ question is “yes”: planning continues to change as cities respond to new urban problems, political developments, and technologies. However, changing practices is not inevitable. Innovative cities experiment with new technologies and continually re- evaluate their planning practices and institutions. InnovativePlanningintheU.S.1 This report aims to document how planning is changing in the U.S. and identify new developments in the field that may eventually characterize planning worldwide. To do this, the report first describes several key trends: shifting demographics, evolving civic engagement, and the expanding use of the Internet for civic engagement. Next, the focus shifts to short cases that explore innovative planning activities in three U.S. cities. Case research is appropriate for investigations of contemporary phenomenon, especially when the “boundaries between the phenomenon and context are not clearly evident”.2 These cases were selected for two reasons. First, they are located in leading U.S. cities that are home to sophisticated planning traditions and are at the forefront of American political and economic change. Boston and San Francisco anchor metropolitan regions that are home to clusters of high technology firms, which present a unique resource for the public sector. A longtime leader in urban planning, the city of Chicago is home to innovative urban policies, from green roofs to data driven management. Second, the cases illustrate diverse forms of urban planning. In Chicago, novel modeling and engagement techniques were applied during a process to produce a conventional metropolitan transportation plan. In Boston, a city-led strategy has coordinated public and private efforts to develop a new district, resulting in new ideas and institutions required to realize an urban design. San Francisco is experimenting with ongoing web-enabled engagement, as well as institutional arrangements to tap into the expertise of the city’s entrepreneurial community. INTRODUCTION 01 Three Dimensions of Innovation
  4. 4. EngagingCommunitiestoBuildBetterPlaces What do we mean by planning? The activities described above differ significantly from traditional planning activities. Although the nature of planning varies according to national context, a good description of the model used in many U.S. cities during the 20th Century is described in Kent’s classic book, The Urban General Plan.3 In his view, planning was government function, organized around producing a written plan describing the “major policies concerning desirable future development.” The primary client for the plan document was the city council, and the primary focus of the plan should be land use, circulation, and community facilities. The book pays little attention to questions of how citizens and nongovernmental stakeholders should be involved. Although many cities still conduct planning this way, this model has undergone many theoretical and practical criticisms.4 Not only does the model presume planners know the public interest and possess the required expertise to create plans without external input, the output is a printed plan and implementation is left to others. In contrast, for the purposes of this report we adopt Albrechts’ concept of strategic spatial planning, or a “public- sector-led sociospatial process through which a vision, actions, and means for implementation are produced that shape and frame what a place is and may become”.5 This definition has several important features which guide this report’s research questions. First, as a sociospatial process, successful planning must involve not only a small circle of key stakeholders, but also communicate broadly with city residents who ultimately give life to planning ideas. The advent of the Internet — as well as novel modeling software — is fundamentally transforming how participation takes place. The ongoing transformation of civic engagement is the subject of the first research question: How are cities taking advantage of the Internet to engage the public in planning in new ways? Second, the definition of planning described above encompasses not only the conventional concept of a printed plan that describes a vision, but also the activities which translate a vision into reality. To do this, cities are developing institutions to implement plans and link plan priorities with action, including special municipal offices, novel cross- departmental initiatives, and even new private organizations. These are the subject of the second research question: What institutions are cities creating to encourage innovation in planning? Finally, while as Albrecht observes planning is public-sector- led, it has always required the participation of the private sector. Castells observed that high-tech clusters arose around a milieu of innovation.6 In the ensuing years, it has become clear this milieu forms and grows through events, meeting spaces, and organizations. With the growth of the knowledge economy, cities are increasingly interested in what can be done to encourage the development of a social environment conducive to economic growth. In addition, the growth of nongovernmental organizations mean traditionally governmental roles may be filled by new actors. Whatpublicandprivaterolesareemerging in planning today? 2
  5. 5. This section provides a context for the cases discussed below. It begins by describing expanding Internet use American society more broadly, then describes how the Internet is being used for civic engagement. Finally, it describes trends in citizen activism — both conventional volunteering, but also the rise of new types of activism that rely on online coordination. The Internet has provided a new forum for citizens to seek out information about government institutions, policies, and projects and is potentially expanding opportunities for the public to become more involved in public affairs. In the field of urban planning, the expansion of Internet- based public involvement provides new opportunities for the public to engage in planning. These developments may have important consequences for democracy, since the demographics of current Internet users show that Internet based outreach has the potential to reach those who tend to be underrepresented in traditional public engagement opportunities like public meetings. These groups include minorities, youth, and people with a lower level of education and income. Social media websites, with diverse users, are especially important potential venues for more inclusive participation. 02.1  Internet Use 02 SETTINGTHECONTEXT Figure 1: Internet Use in America Between 1995 and 2014 Source: “Internet Use Over Time.” Pew Research Center, Washington, D.C. (2013). May 20, 2014. 0 20 30 10 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 2014201220102008200620042002200019971995 (%) (year) Internet Use Between 1995 and 2014 Use Internet InnovativePlanningintheU.S.3
  6. 6. Table 1: Internet Users in 2014 Source: “Internet User Demographics, 2014” Pew Research Center, Washington, D.C. (2014). The use of the Internet overall has rapidly increased over time (see Figure 1). According to a recent report, 87% of adult Americans currently use the Internet (Table 1). Nearly 100% of the well educated, wealthy, and young people are online. Furthermore, 68% of the 87% who are using the Internet are accessing it at some point with a mobile device. The use of mobile devices and cell phones has almost reached the same level of adoption as Internet use overall. When Pew first polled Americans on cell phone ownership in 2000, nearly 53% of adult Americans owned cell phones. Now in 2014, nearly 90% of adult Americans own cell phones. Use of a mobile device to access the Internet has increased in 2011 from 35% to 58% in 2014.7 Therefore, Internet connectivity, and access to mobile devices is widespread. Despite this, there are still disparities in Internet use, especially by race, income, and educational attainment. In Table 1, the categories educational level and household income show the most differences in Internet usage. Among Americans with a high school degree or less, only 76% are online, compared with 97% of those with a college degree or higher. A similar disparity can be found for the lowest income bracket, where 77% use the Internet, compared with 99% of those in the highest bracket. While further analysis would have to be undertaken to show a correlation between income and educational level and Internet, the connection seems logical. Internet use requires the skills and resources that often come with higher educational attainment and income level. Internet users in 2014 All Adults 87 Sex Men 87 86 85 81 83 97 93 88 57 76 91 Women Race/ethnicity* White African-American Hispanic 18 - 29 30 - 49 50 - 64 High school grad or less Some college College + 65 + Age group Education level Less than $30,000/yr $30,000 - $49,999 $50,000 - $74,999 $75,000 + Household income Urban Suburban Rural Community type Use Internet (%) 87 88 93 99 97 77 83 85 EngagingCommunitiestoBuildBetterPlaces 4
  7. 7. 02 Expanding access to the Internet has been accompanied by its increasing use for citizen interaction with governments. In 2009, 48% of Americans sought out information, either offline or online, about a policy or issue related to local, state or federal government.8 This high percentage of Americans who are seeking out government information shows that there is a demand for transparency and easy access to information about government. In 2009, 41% of Americans downloaded a government form via a government website, 33% renewed a driver’s license or auto registration, and 15% paid a fine or parking ticket.9 While these are basic forms of government interaction between the public and government, these interactions may be the first steps towards more meaningful engagement. These numbers might be even higher with expanded online government services and improved usability of government websites. For example, while most online government users say that their visit was successful, most Americans use a search engine to navigate government websites, suggesting a need for improved navigation.10 While the Internet has opened up new channels for civic engagement and access to government information, social networking sites are changing the demographics of who is interacting with the government even more. According to the Pew Report, people who access government data and contact government officials offline are generally affluent, white, older and possess college degrees.11 Social media websites, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Flickr, may be one way to canter this trend. While Whites are much more likely to participate in online forums than Blacks or Latinos, the introduction of social media has shifted access to government information.12 Research shows that when government actors and institutions reach out via social media websites, they reach a much higher population of young adults and minority groups than traditional Internet based outreach methods.13 This is even more salient when the growth of social networking sites is better understood. Between 2008 and 2012, the online population which used social networking sites grew from 33% to 69%.14 The rapid growth of social networking sites make them useful venues for civic engagement. Social networking can provide opportunities for information gathering, public collaboration, and interaction with government officials. Among social networking website users, 43% decided to learn more about an issue when they were exposed to it on the website.15 Of Internet users, 23% have posted comments or interacted with a government agency via a social networking account related to a government policy or public issue.16 Social networking can lead to more than talk: 18% of social networking site users decided to take action on an issue because they were exposed to it online. Social networking sites are powerful tools for public outreach and collaboration. Research on Internet use and social networking seems to show that the place of the Internet in the future of civic involvement seems promising. While civic involvement will always be in a state of evolution, Internet based outreach, especially through social networking sites can reach more people in a more efficient and powerful way than offline outreach methods. The Internet can serve as a new resource for cities to tap into the local knowledge of their populations for planning processes. SETTING THE CONTEXT 02.2  Civic Engagement Online InnovativePlanningintheU.S.5
  8. 8. Over time, civic engagement in the three case study cities has evolved. Volunteerism is a common proxy for civic engagement, and is used here due to a lack of data on civic engagement. This data presents a basis for which American civic engagement exists today. The section also describes emerging innovative civic engagement trends. As the above section discusses, the emergence of the Internet and social networking techniques for engagement could profoundly change the nature of civic engagement in America. However, the following discussion concentrates on the current nature of active civic engagement in the three case study cities. Table 2 shows additional indicators used to measure civic engagement. The three cities show similar rates of public meeting attendance in 2012, with Boston showing a slightly higher participation rate than the other two cities. San Francisco had the highest number of respondents who said they were active in their neighborhood. Finally, Chicago showed the highest retention rate among volunteers. No city showed particular strength in all three areas of civic engagement. This seems to suggest that local values inform what type of civic involvement is most popular. While it has been often feared that civic engagement is diminishing in America, this data shows that civic engagement has been fairly steady. What remains to be explored is whether or not the nature of civic engagement has changed and possibly how online forms of engagement have the opportunity to have a similar impact on government policies and projects as traditional participation. Indicator Boston Chicago San Francisco Attend Meetings (%) (2012) 10.1 8.7 9.7 Active in Neighborhood (%) (2012) 8.4 7.1 9.8 Volunteer Retention (%)* (2010-2011) 63.5 66.9 65.8 25 30 35 201220112010200920082007200620052004 (%) (year) As Figure 2 shows, San Francisco has had the highest and steadiest volunteer rate of the three cities, however, all three cities had around a 25% participation in volunteering. Boston shows the most profound downward trend in volunteerism between 2010 and 2012, where as Chicago reached the lowest point of volunteerism in 2007 of all three cities. Volunteer Rate Between 2004 and 2012 Additional Metrics for Civic Engagement in the Three Case Study Cities Figure 2: Volunteer Rate for the Three Case Study Cities Source: Corporation for National and Community Service,Volunteering and Civic Life in America Data Set ( Table 2: Additional Metrics for Civic Engagement in the Three Case Study Cities *Volunteer Retention is defined by the number of volunteers who volunteered in Year 1 and continued to volunteer in Year 2 (2010-2011) Source: Corporation for National and Community Service,Volunteering and Civic Life in America Data Set, ( San FranciscoBoston Chicago 02.3  Trends in Civic Engagement in Case Study Cities EngagingCommunitiestoBuildBetterPlaces 6
  9. 9. 02 New forms of social participation are emerging around the world, especially in cities. This section briefly describes one notable example related to planning, a loose collective of activities referred to as tactical urbanism. An influential report on this new trend argues tactical urbanism is a deliberate approach to city-making that features several characteristics: (1) a deliberate, phased approach to change, (2) a focus on local ideas and challenges, (3) short-term commitments, (4) use of low-risk strategies, and (5) the development of social capital among stakeholders.17 Tactical urbanism may include unsanctioned activities by activists and artists, as well as official experiments by city departments. The diverse activities included under this term include adding chairs to urban spaces, planting gardens in abandoned lots without permission, and creating temporary parks. The term also describes public experiments by municipalities, such as projects that temporarily modify traffic patterns or create new plazas. SETTING THE CONTEXT 02.4  New Forms of Participation One notable example of tactical urbanism is Park(ing) Day, an annual event where citizens turn on-street parking spaces into park-like public spaces. The event was created in San Francisco in 2005 when a design group converted a parking space into a mini-park, complete with grass, a bench, and a tree. The group also inserted coins into the parking meter during the time they used the space. Since that year, it has grown to an international event, and today each year over 1,000 parking spaces are transformed to miniature parks in over 100 cities in dozens of countries around the world. These projects were largely coordinated online, where local activists connect with local groups. Although some of the most radical tactical urbanism projects raise important questions about legal liability and the use of public assets, on the whole this movement stresses the importance of creativity, participation, and fun in improving urban quality of life. Where complemented by responsive public authorities, tactical urbanism projects can be used to test new ideas and build excitement for change in cities. InnovativePlanningintheU.S.7
  10. 10. Figure 3: Park(ing) Day in San Francisco Source: Flickr ( EngagingCommunitiestoBuildBetterPlaces 8
  11. 11. 03 This section contains three cases: Boston’s Innovation District, the Chicago GO TO 2040 plan, and the San Francisco Mayor’s Office of Innovation. While they vary significantly, all of three exhibit innovations tailored for their contexts and goals. Boston is one of the oldest cities in the United States, first incorporated in 1630.18 The city’s major industries today are finance, healthcare, education and services.19 The city is known as a leader in innovative technology research and has a strong knowledge base thanks to the presence of many well respected universities in Boston metropolitan region, including Harvard and MIT. Many of the Boston region’s companies have roots in the classrooms and laboratories in these universities. Despite the city’s apparent strengths, many companies that started in Boston have moved elsewhere. For example, Mark Zuckerberg moved Facebook from Harvard to metropolitan San Francisco in order to take advantage of that region’s skilled workforce, creative culture, and venture capital firms. Furthermore, many of Boston’s fast-growing technology companies cluster near Universities or locate in suburban locations not near the city center. The Boston Innovation District is an effort led by city leaders to develop a high technology cluster in the city limits. Government-led efforts to cultivate clusters of firms, or technology parks, are not a new phenomenon. Since the 1980s, governments around the world have experimented with designating specific cities or neighborhoods for high technology firms, often providing these areas with infrastructure or tax benefits. Cultivating these clusters 03.1  Boston’s Innovation District: Economic Development & Placemaking CASES History and Context could encourage collaboration between firms, as well as serving to benefit the host city. Top-down planned technology parks have not been very successful. Two reasons are a lack of skilled workers, and the parks’ lack of urban amenities.20 Boston aimed to create a cluster of high tech firms through a strategy that combined physical planning and design, public investment and branding, and other economic development activities. This involved numerous stakeholders from both the public and private sectors. In the later half of the 20th century, a shift towards trucking and modern container shipping resulted in large tracts of vacant land along the South Boston waterfront. In the 1990s, government officials made tentative steps to encourage redevelopment, building a convention center, federal courthouse, and new transit line in the area. The stage was set for redevelopment by the 1999 Seaport Public Realm Plan, which created a guide for streets, blocks, and parks for this area.21 Although the plan identified economic development as a goal, it did not specify the types of businesses that would be located there, or how physical design would be connected to economic development activities. InnovativePlanningintheU.S.9
  12. 12. As the technology sector began to heat up in the 2000s, city officials began to consider how a technology cluster could be cultivated in South Boston, providing a needed focus for the neighborhood’s development. Private firms had already begun to locate in historic warehouses and lofts nearby, and the ample supply of land could accommodate new growth. The Innovation District was developed as an evolving strategy, one which would need coordination between the private and public sectors. The idea has continued to evolve and has since become a reality. The district was launched by then- mayor Thomas Menino in 2010, and continues today under Mayor Marty Walsh. City officials claim over 5,000 new jobs have been created by over 200 companies in the district, and that another 4,000 jobs are anticipated in the coming years.22 Figure 4: Boston Innovation District Source: Flickr ( EngagingCommunitiestoBuildBetterPlaces 10
  13. 13. 03 CASES: BOSTON’S INNOVATIONDISTRICT The Innovation District promoters have created a set of principles and strategies to explain the district to newcomers. The three core principles that are central to the project are: opportunities for testing new technologies, sustainable growth, and shared innovation. Further, there are also three key strategies: promoting collaboration, providing public space and developing a 24-hour neighborhood.24 As described further in the case discussion, in addition to promoting the Innovation District, the project uses a website and social media to foster engagement by promoting events, project participation, and entering into a dialog with the online community. The Boston Innovation District today is a 1,000 acre site on the South Boston waterfront that has been transformed into an area supporting innovative thinkers, entrepreneurs and collaborative business.23 The neighborhood is also home to new bars and restaurants, a brewery, a contemporary art museum, as well as MassChallenge, a startup incubator. The site used to be an industrial waterfront location and was one of the most underdeveloped in all of the city despite being centrally located, making it well suited for redevelopment. Innovation District Overview 38 40 43 16 48 34 33 35 47 42 2 18 17 12 9 5 6 10 11 22 14 15 8 32 31 19 46 41 44 1 1 1 1 2 2 4 3 27 5 5 6 7 7 7 7 7 7 7 8 9 9 10 9 9 13 13 13 14 14 15 14 15 10 10 10 10 10 13 11 12 15 15 15 15 15 15 16 48 10 33 10 18 36 33 36 38 39 36 40 41 20 9 38 10 15 15 15 16 16 16 17 17 17 17 18 18 19 20 1 23 22 22 24 25 26 7 7 3 7 27 3 28 29 30 20 32 2 7 31 32 2 16 16 33 34 37 35 36 42 43 44 33 45 20 20 46 47 36 39 37 29 30 27 3 28 7 21 20 4 24 23 26 45 25 Figure 5: A Growing Mix of Innovation Businesses Source: Boston’s Innovation District ( Greentech Social Media/Communications/Publishing IT/Software Development Incubator/Accelerator Non-Profit/Social Entrepreneurship Life Sciences/Biotech Architecture/Design Education/Academia Manufacturing/Engineering Finance/Professional Services E-Commerce InnovativePlanningintheU.S.11
  14. 14. In order to achieve these goals, city officials have adopted land use regulations to guide private investment in the neighborhood, including a new zoning overlay district. The City of Boston already requires 15% affordable housing units (or a payment) for any residential construction greater than ten homes. Before any new development took place in the district, a new zoning overlay was added doubling this requirement to 30%. This was key for the district’s success because it will produce a mix of housing types and options. Thus, employees can live close to where they work regardless of income, which is believed to be crucial for increasing productivity. Boston, as with many large U.S. cities, has a housing affordability issue, so this requirement was pivotal to encourage a young, innovative workforce to move to the area. For non-residential construction a similar 30% rule was put in place, but this time the space must be used for innovative uses. The definition of these uses is quite open, and includes; parks, open spaces, as well as business incubator spaces that are open to all applicants.25 Real estate developers working within these requirements have begun to embrace the unique nature of the Innovation District. For example, developers are beginning to construct buildings with open-plan workspaces. These shared spaces are offered with short term leases to appeal particularly to smaller firms, with options for longer term leasing for larger, more established firms. Shared working spaces is becoming increasingly common, as 40% of new companies are choosing to lease these type of spaces in the District.26 These unique spaces, which encourage cross-company interaction, are one of the unique selling points for the District. This combination of a public vision and land use regulations and private activity comes together in the neighborhood’s “District Hall.” This building is the self-proclaimed “new home for innovation in Boston,” and serves as a meeting and event space that serves as an anchor for the neighborhood. It wastheresultofapublic-privatecollaborationamongseveral parties including the City of Boston, Boston Global Investors, and the Briar Group.27 District Hall can be configured as an open workspace, assembly space, or as flexible work pods.28 When talking about District Hall, Mayor Menino asserted, “cities have long built infrastructure for travel and utilities, but in a relationship-driven economy we’re building a new kind of infrastructure - a place to make connections and to build relationships.”29 While District Hall was privately funded by Boston Global Investors as part of their larger 23-acre development, the day-to-day function, including event planning and programming is covered by a non-profit group, Venture Cafe Foundation.30 Operations are sponsored by Microsoft and the insurance firm John Hancock.31 This diverse mix of private and public collaborators speaks to the nature of collaboration in the District, and the strong support innovative projects have in the private and public sectors in Boston. EngagingCommunitiestoBuildBetterPlaces 12
  15. 15. While the private sector has had a profound impact on the district, the public sector has had a hand in its success as well. City leaders have had a central role in the development of the district, ensuring the district’s design, infrastructure, and transportation that have have primed the area for success. Furthermore, the public sector lad a robust marketing and branding effrot to promote the district and attract new residents and firms. 03 CASES: BOSTON’S INNOVATIONDISTRICT Figure 7: A Networking event at the Innovation District in Boston Source: Boston’s Innovation District ( In addition to these activities, government agencies engaged in more typical economic development activities. One example is workshops organized by the Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA). These workshops teach budding entrepreneurs the intricacies of capital access and other financing topics. MassChallenge is another economic development example. This nonprofit supports entrepreneurs in the early stages of the startup process. MassChallenge is located in the Innovation District and so far have helped 125 firms a year and have donated $1 million of capital annually. They are backed by large private investors including both Microsoft and Verizon.32 This sort of venture further illustrates the dynamic balance between different activities within the District. Figure 6: Boston District hall Source: Hacin + Associates ( Innovation District Overview InnovativePlanningintheU.S.13
  16. 16. As with any redevelopment project, there is likely to be conflict. The District used to be home to the largest concentration of artists in New England. The redevelopment has displaced some to new neighborhoods, resulting in understandable complaints. The project has also become a victim of its own success. The Boston Globe reported last year that affordability has become a problem in the neighborhood, arguing is “is in danger of becoming a top-heavy boutique neighborhood because it targets price-sensitive businesses, but has no way of providing stable rents.”33 This has to be of concern for everybody involved, since innovation districts rely on small entrepreneurial businesses and if they cannot cluster together and work with one another it removes much of what was trying to be achieved. An article from early 2014 reports that rents in the area are only 1% below that of Back Bay, an established high-rent commercial area in Boston. To illustrate the rapid change, the recent high rents are in stark contrast to the “welcome home challenge” which took place at the beginning of the project in 2010. The challenge was a competition aimed at attracting interest among business in the District, something that doesn’t seem quite so necessary now.34 Recent research on high-tech clusters argues that they must combine quality of life with efficient public infrastructure and services.35 Boston has attempted to fulfill both of these goals in the innovation district. The urban design regulations set the stage for new buildings that make the District an appealing place to work, with not only offices but also parks, museums, bars, and restaurants. Even if the workers want to live a little further away, it is near many well-connected transit lines.36 Contemporary research now often uses the term smart cities to refer to contemporary version of technology parks. This research suggests that a hybrid strategy that combines top-down elements with participation is ideal.37 Reviewing several examples, Zygiaris argues one of the most successful examples of a smart city available is that of Barcelona, specifically the 22@Barcelona project. This project utilized funding from a wide variety of sources in order to facilitate the project’s ambitious goals. Projects of this scope need a mix of funding sources to be successful. This is something that Boston planners seem to be managing with the District Hall development. While Boston Global Investors, a real estate firm, backed the project with a broader master plan in mind, operations are turned over to a nonprofit. The clear backing and support from the Mayor and city leaders complemented more participatory activities. In conclusion, we suggest that while Boston Innovation District is successful in many ways, it will continue to evolve to address new challenges. As Yigitcanlar observes for smart cities, it is hard to judge them until they reach maturity.38 The District Hall development has great potential to encourage the goals and principles laid out in the supporting material for the district. The rent increases is a cause for concern, particularly since it could threaten the neighborhood’s ability to attract small firms. However, the Innovation District has successfully cultivated a cluster of businesses, services and amenities that make it poised for a bright future. Controversy Conclusion EngagingCommunitiestoBuildBetterPlaces 14
  17. 17. 03 CASES: CHICAGO GOTO2040 03.2  Chicago GO TO 2040: Novel Engagement Techniques Figure 8: The Bird eye’s View of Chicago Source: Wikipedia Commons ( InnovativePlanningintheU.S.15
  18. 18. Chicago is one of the largest cities in the United States and has long been known as the country’s “second city,” behind New York. Although no longer the second largest U.S. city by population, metropolitan Chicago is home to around 2.6 million people, welcomes 40 million tourists annually, and is the location of 32 Fortune 500 companies.39 Furthermore, Chicago has a long history of urban planning as the city is the home of architect Daniel Burnham, author of the famous 1909 Plan of Chicago. The Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP), the region’s planning authority, launched a project to write a new regional plan in 2008.40 At that time, the agency projected that an additional two million more residents would move to the Chicago metropolitan area by 2040.41 The plan, which would come to be called GO TO 2040, was the first regional plan for Chicago since Burnham’s 1909 plan. The document set an ambitious agenda of infrastructure development. The four central themes of the plan are: livable communities, human capital, efficient governance, and regional mobility.42 A common theme throughout the plan is sustainability, and the importance of responsible development. Between 2008 and the final adoption of the plan on October 13th, 2010, CMAP solicited input from the public through a variety of techniques.43 It is important to note that CMAP has limited legal authority, although they do have influence over transportation infrastructure funding.44 History and Context EngagingCommunitiestoBuildBetterPlaces 16
  19. 19. 03 CASES: CHICAGO GOTO2040 Community engagement for GO TO 2040 began on May 27th, 2009 and continued through September 10th, 2009.45 Walsh and Burch note that one outcome of good engagement is support for a regional plan.46 CMAP was aware that success of their project relied on the public buying into the project. CMAP’s 2009 Invent the Future report states that “CMAP recognizes that public participation is a key component in effective planning. It is essential that the residents of northeastern Illinois have a voice in how the region’s plans are formulated.”47 The end goal for the process was to have a plan that was viable, but that was also directed in some way by the residents themselves. To ensure the plan would be a success, CMAP wanted to gain input from a broad range of residents in the region. This was achieved in a number of ways including: face-to-face workshops, interactive kiosks, suggestion cards and online tools. This process fell under the wider aspects of the project known as Invent the Future. There were two main goals set out for the project: to educate the region’s residents about the impacts of various planning strategies, and gain public input on the development of CMAP’s preferred future.48 A public participation plan proposed how engagement would accomplish these goals.49 The document had three elements: a discussion of how to reach out to a wide range of residents, how to engage in multiple ways, and how to ensure participants remained in touch with the process. Outreach was achieved through increasing visibility for the plan and using as many avenues as they could to provide opportunities for feedback. Sustaining a connection with the participants was a tougher process however. To do this, emails were sent to those who visited the workshops containing further information on the plan. This allowed participants to stay connected and enabled them to see other events they could attend to further engage in the project. GO TO 2040 Engagement Figure 9: Invent the Future Summer Outreach Source: Invent the Future Summary Report (2009), p.15 Fair Kiosk Workshop Interstates Metro InnovativePlanningintheU.S.17
  20. 20. At the center of the GO TO 2040 community engagement strategy was a piece of software called MetroQuest.50 The software was adapted specifically for use in the community engagement process in Chicago. MetroQuest allowed participants to explore the implications of their preferences for the region. Participants’ priorities became scenarios, which ultimately inform the planning process and the final plan. This software not only allows someone to design a plan, but also helps to visualize how the city would look if their selected changes were made. The software allows participants to choose the most important planning issue to themanddevelopascenariobasedonthesefactors.Issuesthe tool considered included; development density, development location, road network, transit system, transportation policy and resource policy. On each issue, participants were asked to provide a rating, which resulted in a scenario. The most popular scenarios, as identified through research and public input would be the basis of the regional scenario presented to the CMAP board for approval.51 MetroQuest A more complex version of MetroQuest was used during public workshops, and a simplified version was available online. Both highlighted the connections between issues, and encouraged participants to compare alternatives. MetroQuest “makes it possible for groups to learn about the relationship between policy choices and associated indicators or outcomes.”52 Land use and transportation are closely related, and this process allowed users to see these close links first hand. Participants could use MetroQuest to explore three benchmark scenarios created by CMAP: preserving the current situation, re-investing in certain infrastructure, such as transportation, or innovating and completely overhauling the norm and developing an alternative option.53 Although a novel tool, the limited data available suggests not all website visitors engaged deeply with this tool. The MetroQuest website had a relatively high bounce rate of 40.4%.54 This was a cause for concern for CMAP, and they focused on converting web visitors to users, and created a variety of other engagement opportunities. Figure 10: The Starting Point for the Three Different Variations of MetroQuest Used by CMAP Source: Walsh (2012), p.53 EngagingCommunitiestoBuildBetterPlaces 18
  21. 21. 03 CASES: CHICAGO GOTO2040 Engagement Approaches The second innovative approach to community engagement used in the GO TO 2040 process was social media and other nontraditional promotional avenues. Twitter was a key broadcast method for the project, meetings were often live Tweeted which increased the transparency and accessibility of the project.55 Other social media websites used by the project included Youtube, Flickr and a blog.56 The use of MetroQuest was also tied into the social media strategy. Participants who developed their own scenarios online could share them on either Facebook or Twitter. Friends on these sites could then rate these scenarios. This helped spread the word about the plan and further encouraged the community to engage in the planning process. CMAP’s use of social media shows a forward-thinking approach to planning which enabled the project to reach out to a younger and more diverse population than might have been the case. Computer kiosks were another innovative community engagement tool. Traditional forms of community engagement rely upon workshops and face-to-face interaction. Kiosks are freed from these restrictions and allowed for technologically-savvy participation. The kiosks were initially created to disseminate information about the project, yet the feedback received became useful for the project. Kiosks were located in high foot traffic areas, including the lobby of the Willis Tower and a semi-temporary site in Millennium Park. Each user spent around three to five minutes at the kiosk. There were two 30-second videos with a question at the end of each. After the questions were answered, a video played giving immediate feedback, which showed the impacts of their decisions on the built environment.57 There were over 14,000 completed responses collected from these kiosks.58 These digital strategies were complemented by a set of more conventional citizen engagement strategies. Citizen participation was further encouraged at workshops hosted all across Chicago. There were 57 workshops held during the engagement process, with the highest attendances in Joliet and Oak Park.59 These were the most time-intensive method, since workshops often lasted two hours. The workshops allowed in-depth deliberation of key decisions. Two popular themes that arose at each of these workshops was the need for more compact development, as well as increased spending on transportation infrastructure. Figure 11: The Millennium Park Kiosk Source: Invent the Future Summary Report, p.8 InnovativePlanningintheU.S.19
  22. 22. Assessment Much of the discussion during the GO TO 2040 plan was about Chicago’s competitive advantage in a rapidly urbanizing world.60 The same source references the executive director of CMAP claiming that this could be Chicago’s last chance to prepare for growth. The modest funding for this project is also discussed with a charitable donation of $1.3 million given by the Chicago Community Trust. However, the final plan did not propose radical changes, and the region has been slow to implement of the plan’s goals of denser development and increased transit service. Some news reports that referred to CMAP as “little known” suggests the agency’s newness may have limited their visibility. After the completion of the project, CMAP staff have reflected on its strengths and weaknesses as they continue their work in the region. Tom Garritano, the communications director of CMAP, argued that the use of computer kiosks was a highlight of the outreach effort. In addition, he reported that CMAP was lucky to “getting out in front” of the social media trend, but that some of the websites were not as successful as others. For example, Flickr was used to share photographs during the process, yet Flickr is no longer as important or heavily used as it once was. Garritano said one area where the plan could be improved was its focus: the resulting 400-page report was too long, and did not present clear priorities. To conclude, the project was innovative and engaged a good number of residents in the process. The kiosk and the MetroQuest software was an innovative demonstration of how to expand and improve engagement. Creating a regional plan for a city as large as Chicago inevitably raises challenges for engagement, focus, and implementation. CMAP’s limited authority and newness posed challenges to the process, and the plan’s suggestions for more compact development have generally not been realized. Although the plan did not come to bold conclusions, it did foster discussions about the city’s future and has laid the groundwork for future planning efforts. EngagingCommunitiestoBuildBetterPlaces 20
  23. 23. 03 CASES: SANFRANCISCO MAYOR’SOFFICEOFINNOVATION The city of San Francisco anchors a metropolitan region famous for a cluster of high-tech firms that extend from downtown to the suburban Silicon Valley. As of 2012, San Francisco has approximately 1,800 companies with 4,200 jobs in the technology industry.61 This sector is a tremendous resource for the public sector. For example, through a partnership established in 2013 with the nongovernmental organization Code for America, San Francisco is trying to “make the city more open and efficient” by working with web developers, designers, and entrepreneurs.62 As a result of this cooperation, San Francisco was named the best U.S. city for open data in 2014.63 In 2012, San Francisco established the Mayor’s Office of Civic Innovation for making “an environment that allows innovation to flourish in City Hall.”64 The Mayor’s Office of Civic Innovation aims to enhance the quality of life in the city through a wide range of projects involving technology, civic engagement, and municipal administration.65 This case will focus on several of their projects related to urban planning: Entrepreneurship in Residence, the Mayor’s Innovation Roundtables, ImproveSF, and Living Innovation Zones. These two programs promote new forms of public- private collaboration. Through the 16-week Residence program, San Francisco seeks “innovative solutions to civic challenges” that create economic benefits to the city, and encouraging startup companies to explore creative solutions with the government.66 Recently, the government chose a startup planning technology firm, Synthicity, as one of six Entrepreneurship in Residence participants to work with the Planning Department on “new simulation, planning, and urban development tools and technologies.” Paul Waddell, the company’s president and a professor at the University of California, Berkeley, noted that they will continue to develop UrbanSim, urban modeling software. The firm and the city government both expect to apply this technology to the real city through the Residence program in the future.67 The Mayor’s Innovation Roundtable program provides for more informal collaboration. This program involves two regular types of discussion sessions involving private sector leaders, a small session with the Mayor and community leaders, and a public forum with community members. This allows the government to keep abreast of the changing economy, and explore ways to generate economic and social value by capitalizing on emerging technologies.68 These two projects complement the city’s primary civic engagement project, ImproveSF. 03.3  San Francisco Mayor’s Office of Innovation: Sparking Innovation and Public-Private Partnership History and Context Entrepreneurship in Residence and Mayor’s Innovation Roundtables InnovativePlanningintheU.S.21
  24. 24. Figure 12: The Mayor’s Innovation Roundtable Source: Type A Machines ( ImproveSF is a website that encourages city residents to become more directly involved in finding solutions for community problems. Shannon Spanhake, the city’s deputy innovation officer describes ImproveSF as “a public-private- people partnership that aims to make civic participation sustainable.”69 This website not only allows community members to discuss issues in their community, but also provides potential private stakeholders an opportunity to preview emerging project and ideas for investment. ImproveSF uses both a website and Twitter to encourage interaction. Through these forums, users can contribute, support, and comment on ideas related to city-designated issues. Once a community or organization identifies an issue in a specific area, community leaders set up topics in the forum and ask the public for ideas and opinions on this issue. City residents share their thoughts and collaborate to develop solutions. Then, community leaders move forward with the best ideas.70 For instance, the Planning Department used ImproveSF to seek better ways to improve the Green Connection project, which is a short-term transportation planning project to build a path for bicycling and walking. The Planning Department proposed the initial idea on the website, and asked the public to provide feedback to enhance the project. Approximately 420 interactions were made between the public and the department through this platform. The ease and accessibility of this type of interaction has proved to be successful. As a result, over 4,000 ideas have been suggested and discussed in the platform so far, and from 200 to 15,000 interactions have taken place in each topic. ImproveSF’s online component shows that meaningful engagementonaprojectandcollaborationamongcommunity members and private entities can be accomplished through innovative Internet-based technologies. ImproveSF Figure 13: Public Interaction on the ImproveSF website Source: ImproveSF ( EngagingCommunitiestoBuildBetterPlaces 22
  25. 25. 03 CASES: SANFRANCISCO MAYOR’SOFFICEOFINNOVATION The Living Innovation Zones (LIZ) program is one of the most successful projects undertaken by ImproveSF. This project is a partnership of the SF Mayor’s Office of Civic Innovation, the Planning Department, and the Department of Public Works. Under the Better Market Street Project that aims to revitalize the public realm on Market Street, LIZ makes “temporary, flexible spaces for public interaction.”71 This program also encourages innovators, artists, and designers to easily take part in projects in public spaces. This provides the opportunity for creative art projects and innovative technologies to enhance the quality of public spaces in San Francisco. This was done by initiating a topic on ImproveSF asking the public what they would like to see on this major street. During the five months the topic was active, people posted their ideas, shared their favorite thoughts via Twitter, and collaborated with others through the forum. People suggested 23 ideas to activate Market Street that included: monthly pop-up stores, small-scale mobile homes for the homeless, night markets, and installation of musical swings that play local artists’ music. Living Innovation Zones Figure 14: The First LIZ Project at Yearba Buena Lane Source: Living Innovation Zones ( The first project completed by LIZ, Yearba Buena Lane, gave the Exploratorium, the science museum, the opportunity to build an interactive educational experience on city sidewalks. Through this project, the project partners sought to bring people, energy, activity, and innovation to the sidewalks of Market Street. The process to undertake projects through the LIZ starts with the opening up of an underutilized site to the public. Then the private partner organizations engage in funding, design, and maintenance of the site. During this time, the public interacts through ImproveSF to provide their input on the project. Currently, LIZ is undertaking several pilot projects along Market Street. Success of these projects will enable the city to develop a formal process for community engagement for new public spaces and expand LIZ to other areas in the city. InnovativePlanningintheU.S.23
  26. 26. Despite its apparent benefits, ImproveSF is still controversial in the community. John Avalos, one of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors noted that while the ideas might improve the city, it involves providing special access to city agencies without any revenue.72 The projects also tend to focus on short-term placemaking projects, instead of long- term planning. Moreover, the rapid changes in technology might significantly affect ImproveSF in the future and this technology might quickly become obsolete. Lastly, the compatibility between ImproveSF and the city’s master plan needs to be carefully considered, since participatory input may not reflect a broader strategy. Debate Figure 15: The Installation at Yearba Buena Lane Source: Living Innovation Zones ( To conclude, innovative planning in San Francisco focuses on the collaboration among the government, the private sector, and the public. Although there might be some issues such as the transparency of government resources, the actual feasibility of projects for the government, and budget restraints extenuated by including private actors, The San Francisco Mayor’s Office of Civic Innovation has the potential to develop the city’s civically engaged planning processes and could inspire other cities to do the same in the future. EngagingCommunitiestoBuildBetterPlaces 24
  27. 27. 04 This section discusses the three cases, focusing on four issues: the nature of planning, citizen engagement, institutions for urban innovation, and new roles for public and private stakeholders. CASEDISCUSSIONANDSYNTHESIS The cases illustrate the evolving character of urban planning. In Boston, the government established regulations and an urban design plan, but has since worked to coordinate a variety of stakeholders to cultivate a new economic hub in the city to realize the plan. In particular, the mayor and other city leaders cultivated an identity for the neighborhood as an “innovation district.” Although this started as a brand, it has evolved into a full-fledged economic development and placemaking strategy. Although originating in a top- down strategy, the District has thrived as it became more open to participation by firms and citizens. Its success also lies in Boston’s status as a center for entrepreneurship, and the amenities and vacant land contained within the neighborhood. In Chicago, a planning process engaged residents in a range of innovative ways, with the kiosks being the most valuable. This case is the most traditional, since it resulted in a large publication — a plan. However, it is also 04.1  Nature of Planning the case where planning is farthest from implementation activities. Finally, the San Francisco case illustrated how efforts such as fostering public-private collaboration can support the planning process. Here city leaders have re- cast their role as coordinating private activity around priority topics. Other activities, such as hosting entrepreneurs, are motivated by a desire to capture knowledge and expertise outside of government that could improve not only planning, but also other government activities. The Entrepreneurship in Residence program allow city planners to gain access to novel private sector visualization and modeling tools. While a full discussion of the lively debate about various forms of planning is beyond the scope of this report, the cases serve as a reminder that local planners should reflect on their assumptions about the types of activities that may properly be called “planning.” InnovativePlanningintheU.S.25
  28. 28. The cases also illustrate experiments in new forms of engagement that utilize the Internet and new computer models. These fall into two categories: the use of social media and interactive websites, and the development of new software to visualize and compare urban planning scenarios. Both of these topics are the subject of growing bodies of research and practice.73 Takingplaceafteranurbandesignplanhadbeenadopted,the Boston Innovation District’s approach to citizen engagement was oriented around promotion and implementation. An active Twitter account has sent over 3,000 tweets, garnering a following of over 11,700 Twitter followers. The tweets not only promote the neighborhood itself, but also discuss public meetings, networking events, and news related to businesses located in the district. Similarly, San Francisco’s ImproveSF platform uses Twitter to make connections and spark discussion. However, engagement often extends beyond exchanging ideas in order to allow citizens to engage with detailed proposals. Chicago’s MetroQuest allowed for precisely this type of nuanced exploration, and was key in the success of the project as a whole. It engaged residents in learning about the region and gave them instant feedback on how their preferences compared to the agency’s scenarios. 04.2  Citizen Engagement Boston Innovation District Chicago GO TO 2040 San Francisco Mayor’s Office of Civic Innovation Twitter Followers 11,700 3,222 2,118 Twitter Following 2,489 1,409 2,214 Number of Tweets 3,117 3,998 1,314 Likes on Facebook 275 882 N/A Table 3: Social Networking Analysis for Case Studies; Conducted on May 22, 2014. Social Networking Analysis for Case Studies EngagingCommunitiestoBuildBetterPlaces 26
  29. 29. 04 We explored how Twitter was used for civic engagement by analyzing the Twitter feeds for each project. Tweets were categorized into several categories, two main purposes for tweets emerged: tweets that promoted engagement and tweets that were informational. Tweets that promoted engagement included advertisement on how to engage with the project (i.e. public meetings), advertisements for local events, and interactions with the Twitter community. In Boston, 40% of tweets promoted engagement, 38.6% in Chicago, and 50.9% in San Francisco. In all three cities, the type of engagement most promoted through Twitter are event promotions in the local community. Often the events were related in some way to the project at hand but were not events that allowed citizens to directly engage with planning issues. The remainder of the tweets were informational: 54.6% in Boston, 56.6% in Chicago, and 48.1% in San Francisco. Within this group, the most common category was the dissemination of project related information, closely followed by planning-related news. These news items often promoted emerging planning values that aligned with the project goals or linked to articles by outsiders about the project. These items bolstered the projects’ reputation in the public eye. The “other” category captures completely unrelated uncategorizable items found in the Twitter feed. What this analysis begins to show is that while Twitter is a powerful tool to disseminate direct and promotional information about a planning project, Twitter is also being used to help the public better engage both online and offline.74 This analysis combined with the previously mentioned research on social media’s ability to better engage youth, minorities, and lower income populations seems to potentially indicate that innovative planning projects that include a social media component are not only informing a larger mass of the underrepresented population, but are possibly providing the information to increase engagement in urban communities. Figure 16: Twitter Content Analysis *Boston and Chicago percents were calculated from a total of 150 tweets sampled, San Francisco as a newer project was calculated out of a total of 104. Boston was sampled between February 2011 and December 2012; Chicago was sampled between January 2009 and December 2010; San Francisco was sampled between May 2012 up to the current tweets. Analysis conducted on June 1, 2014. Twitter Content Analysis CASEDISCUSSION AND SYNTHESIS 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 OTHERGOVERNMENT INFORMATION PROJECT INFORMATION PLANNING RELATED NEWS INTERACTION WITH TWITTER COMMUNITY EVENT ADVERTISEMENT ENGAGEMENT OPPORTUNITIES (%) San FranciscoBoston Chicago InnovativePlanningintheU.S.27
  30. 30. The cases also illustrate the evolving nature of institutions for urban planning.75 Boston’s District Hall was a central part of the Boston Innovation District and a cornerstone of the public-private partnerships that exists. Not only a physical building, it is also a new social institution now operated by a non-profit. The Hall epitomises the coordination between sectors that characterizes this case. In Chicago, the planning agency itself was newly formed as the merger of two older organizations that separately concerned metropolitan land use and transportation. Since its creation in 2005, CMAP has continued to evolve to integrate these issues and tackle new problems. Finally, the projects in San Francisco are coordinated by a new entity within city hall, the Mayor’s Office of Civic Innovation. With the mandate to pursue innovative ideas, tools, and approaches in the city government, this office works with several stakeholders: the private sector, other City departments, nonprofits, and city residents. Kent described the debate taking place at that time about the proper location for planning with city governments: as an independent commission, as an advisor to the mayor, or as an advisor to the city council. Regardless of where the office was placed, planning for Kent was inside city hall. The cases illustrate cities experimenting with institutional reforms to better align planning with the variety of stakeholders in cities today. 04.3  Institutions for Urban Innovation 04.4  New Roles for Public & Private Stakeholders Finally, the two previous developments are creating new roles for public and private stakeholders. The Boston case illustrated the fruits of close collaboration between these two groups. In the Innovation District, the public sector provided infrastructure, a neighborhood brand, an urban design plan, and corresponding regulations. To complement these efforts, several nonprofits, such as a startup incubator, art museum, and District Hall contribute to the novel neighborhood. However the private businesses and real estate companies are responsible for property development and drive economic growth in the neighborhood. The Chicago case presents the most traditional perspective on this issue, since a public agency led the planning effort. However, the project was partly supported with financial support by a private charity. Finally, the San Francisco case relied on public sector infrastructure and support, but allowed private sector investors to collaborate with the public to carry out projects to reinvigorate public spaces. These new public private partnerships provide the funding, innovation, and direction that projects created singularly could not do as easily. In many cases, public-private partnerships describe arrangements where functions are outsourced to the private sector. These cases trigger important debates about the role of the public sector. These cases illustrate the opposite. In these cases, the public sector has retained a leadership role, setting strategic priorities and regulations. However, the cities are much more aware of the extensive nonprofit sector that has emerged. Without giving up their leadership role, these cities are inviting other stakeholders into city hall, or in the case of the Innovation District, supporting unusual institutions such as District Hall where the creativity and connections which are the lifeblood of the knowledge economy can flourish. EngagingCommunitiestoBuildBetterPlaces 28
  31. 31. 04 Ongoing change in the world’s cities has led to the increasing profile for the field of urban planning, which is seen as essential to achieving policy objectives in many areas: from reducing greenhouse gas emissions to stimulating economic development. However, these very changes have challenged a traditional concept of planning epitomized by Kent’s Urban General Plan described in the introduction. Increasingly, writing plans and changing regulations are seen as necessary but not sufficient ingredients to successful planning. As Albrechts reminds us, while the public sector serves to lead the planning process, other stakeholders are crucial to draw on local expertise and produce useful plans. Furthermore, planning must increasingly develop not only a vision but also a means for implementation to transform places. Finally, new technologies are creating a new toolkit to engage these stakeholders and implement plans. To explore this topic, this report described three cases of innovative planning in the U.S. The cases were selected to illustrate the variety of innovations being tested in professional practice. Since they aim for different objectives and in some cases are ongoing, this report has not attempted to evaluate their success. However, several themes emerged: the use of new technologies such as social media for citizen engagement, the emergence of new institutions, and new stakeholder roles. Writing about the important role of institutions in explaining economic outcomes, three economists observed that “even if wedidhaveitrightforoneeconomy,itwouldnotautomatically be right for another; and even if we have it right today, it will not necessarily be right tomorrow.”76 As a socially embedded institution, planning shares this imperative for change. As the context of cities evolve, the institutions might need to evolve as well to produce high-quality urban places. The three cases described here present a rich variety of ways to do this. 04.5 Conclusions CASEDISCUSSION AND SYNTHESIS Figure 17: The First LIZ Project at Yearba Buena Lane  /  Source: Living Innovation Zones (liz InnovativePlanningintheU.S.29
  32. 32. EngagingCommunitiestoBuildBetterPlaces 30
  33. 33. 05 ENDNOTES 1. Castells, Manuel, 1992, “The world has changed: can planning change?” Landscape and Urban Planning, 2 (1):73-78. 2. Yin, Robert K., Case study research: design and methods, (Thousand Oaks, Calif.: Sage Publications, 2009), 18. 3. Kent, T. J., The urban general plan, (San Francisco,: Chandler Pub. Co., 1964). 4. See for example, Altshuler, A., 1965, The Goals of Comprehensive Planning, Journal of the American Institute of Planners 31 (3):186- 195. 5. Albrechts, L., 2004, “Strategic (spatial) planning reexamined,” Environment and Planning B (31):743-758. 6. Castells, Manuel, The informational city : information technology, economic restructuring, and the urban-regional process, (Cambridge, Ma., USA: Blackwell, 1989). 7. Fox, Susannah and Lee Rainie, “The Web at 25 in the US: Summary of Findings,” Pew Research Center, Washington, D.C (2014), 2. 8. Smith, Aaron, “Government Online,” Pew Research Center, Washington, D.C (April 27, 2010), 2. 9. Ibid. 10. Ibid., 8. 11. Smith, Aaron, Kay Lehman Schlozman, Sidney Verba and Henry Brady, “The Internet and Civic Engagement,” Pew Research Center, Washington, D.C (September 2009), 20. 12. Ibid., 33. 13. Ibid., 36. 14. Smith, Aaron, “Civic Engagement in the Digital Age,” Pew Research Center, Washington, D.C (April 25, 2013) http://www.pewInternet. org/2013/04/25/civic-engagement-in-the-digital-age/. 15. Ibid. 16. Smith, Aaron, “Government Online” Pew Research Center, Washington, D.C (April 27, 2010) pp. 31. 17. Lydon, Mike, Dan Bartman, Tony Garcia, Russ Preston, and Ronald Woudstra, 2012, Tactical Urbanism 2: Short-Term Action, Long- Term Change. The Street Plans Collaborative. 18. “About Boston,” City of Boston, accessed May 20, 2014, 19. Ibid. 20. Matthew J Keifer, “Public Planning and Private Initiative: The South Boston Waterfront” appears in Urban Planning Today, 2006. Accessed May 29, 2014 Kiefer_Urban%20Planning%20Today_2006.pdf InnovativePlanningintheU.S.31
  34. 34. 21. “The Seaport Public Realm Plan,” Boston Redevelopment Authority, City Of Boston, 1999. 22. “About,” Innovation District, accessed May 20, 2014, 23. Ibid. 24. “The Strategy,” Innovation District, accessed May 20, 2014, 25. Interview with Samantha Hammar, May 30, 2014. 26. “About,” Innovation District, accessed May 20, 2014, 27. “About District Hall,” District Hall, accessed May 20, 2014, 28. Ibid. 29. “Mayor Menino Tours District Hall, City’s First Innovation Center,” Targeted News Service, May 22, 2013, accessed May 20, 2014, 30. Ibid. 31. “About District Hall,” District Hall, accessed May 20, 2014, 32. “About,” Mass Challenge, accessed May 29, 2014 33. Paul McMorrow, “Priced out of the Innovation District,” Boston Globe, August 13, 2013, accessed May 20, 2014, http://search. 34. “Boston,” New Urban Mechanics, accessed May 20, 2014, 35. Nick Leon, The Well Connected City. A report on municipal networks supported by the cloud. (2006) Imperial College London. 36. “The Strategy,” Innovation District. 37. Sotiris Zygiaris, Smart City Reference Model: Assisting Planners to Conceptualize the Building of Smart City Innovation Ecosystems. Journal of the knowledge economy. 4(2013): 2, 209. 38. Yigitcanlar and Lee, “Korean ubiquitous-eco-city: A smart sustainable urban form or a branding hoax?,” 14. 39. “Facts and Statistics,” City of Chicago, accessed May 19, 2014, 40. CMAP was formed in 2005 when the two regional agencies focused on land use and transportation were merged. See: “About,” CMAP, accessed May 19, 2014, 41. GOTO 2040 Plan. CMAP, accessed May 20, 2014, b1cd7beb-6f5a EngagingCommunitiestoBuildBetterPlaces 32
  35. 35. 05 42. Regional Vision for Metropolitan Chicago. CMAP, accessed May 19, 2014, VISION_2040_FINAL.pdf/c01117e1-c5b0-438b-9657-aee5527530e4. 43. “Plan update,” CMAP, accessed May 19, 2014, 44. Tom Hundley, “Chicago Draws Up Plan To Prosper in 2040,” New York Times, July 18, 2010, accessed May 20, 2014, http://www. 45. Susanna Haas Lyons, Mike Walsh, Erin Aleman and John Robinson, “Exploring regional futures: Lessons from Metropolitan Chicago’s online MetroQuest,” Technological Forecasting & Social Change (2014): 23-33. 46. Mike Walsh and Sarah Burch, “Communities at the Crossroads: Using MetroQuest to Help Communities Create Consensus Around a Vision of the Future,” in The Future of Cities and Regions, ed. L Bazzenalla, Luca Caneparo, Franco Corsico and Giusseppe Roccasalva (Springer Geography): 45-64. 47. “Invent the Future: Report of GO TO 2040 Public Engagement Phase, May to September 2009,” 2009, prepared by CMAP, 2. 48. Ibid., 1. 49. “GOTO 2040 Plan,” 2010, prepared by CMAP, 29. 50. Walsh and Burch, “Communities at the Crossroads,” 47. 51. “Invent the Future: Report of GO TO 2040 Public Engagement Phase, May to September 2009,” 2009, prepared by CMAP, 1. 52. Haas Lyons, Walsh, Aleman and Robinson, “Exploring regional futures,” 25. 53. “Invent the Future: Report of GO TO 2040 Public Engagement Phase, May to September 2009,” 2009, prepared by CMAP, 7. 54. Haas Lyons, Walsh, Aleman and Robinson, “Exploring regional futures,” 31. 55. Ibid., 28. 56. “Invent the Future: Report of GO TO 2040 Public Engagement Phase, May to September 2009.” 2009, prepared by CMAP, 13. 57. Haas Lyons, Walsh, Aleman and Robinson, “Exploring regional futures,” 27. 58. “Invent the Future: Report of GO TO 2040 Public Engagement Phase, May to September 2009,” 2009, prepared by CMAP, 16. 59. Ibid., 20. 60. Richard Wronski, “Transit planning looks to 2040: Officials seek public input with an eye towards the future,” Chicago Tribune, March 24, 2008, accessed May 20, 2014, 61. “Living Innovation Zones,” September 12, 2013, accessed May 19, 2014, 62. “Code for America,” accessed May 10, 2014. 63. “2014 U.S. City Open Data Census,” 64. “SF Mayor’s Office of Civic Innovation: Office of Mayor Edwin M. Lee,” accessed May 19, 2014, 65. Ibid. END NOTES InnovativePlanningintheU.S.33
  36. 36. 66. “Office of the Mayor, City and County of San Francisco,” Mar 13, 2014, accessed May 10, 2014, aspx?recordid=537&page=846. 67. Kathleen Maclay, “Planning professor-turned-entrepreneur to help SF tackle urban problems with Big Data,” Directions Magazine, May 14, 2014, accessed May 23, 2014, 68. “SF Mayor’s Office of Civic Innovation: Office of Mayor Edwin M. Lee,” accessed May 13, 2014, innovation-roundtables/. 69. Ben Paynter, “ImproveSF Invites the Crowd over for a Feast of Healthy Ideas,” Fast Company, Aug 30, 2012, accessed May 14, 2014, 70. “How it works,” ImproveSF, accessed May 10 2014, 71. James Brasuell, “‘Living Innovation Zones’ Activate Public Spaces in San Francisco,” The Architect’s Newspaper in Planetizen, March 31, 2014, accessed May 20, 2014, 72. Johna Owen Lamb, “SF opens doors to public tech incubator expecting no return,” The San Francisco Examiner, April 18, 2014, accessed May 17, 2014, 73. For an overview of Internet based participation, see Evans-Cowley, J., and J. Hollander. 2010. “The New Generation of Public Participation: Internet-based Participation Tools,” Planning Practice and Research, 25(3):397-408. Planning support systems are the subject of a large planning literature, for introductions see: Brail, Richard K. “Planning support systems for cities and regions,” (Cambridge, Mass.: Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, 2008). ; Geertman, Stan, and John C. H. Stillwell. “Planning support systems best practice and new methods,” (Dordrecht: Springer, 2009). 74. Goodspeed, R., 2010, The Dilemma of Online Participation: Comprehensive Planning in Austin, Texas, unpublished paper. 75. Institutions have been the subject of recent scholarly work in planning. See for example: Kim, A.M. 2011. “Unimaginable Change: Future Directions in Planning Practice and Research About Institutional Reform,” Journal of the American Planning Association, 77(4): 328-337, and Verma, Niraj. “Institutions and Planning,” (Boston: Elsevier, 2007). 76. Mantzavinos, C., Douglass C. North, and Syed Shariq, 2004, “Learning, Institutions, and Economic Performance. Perspectives on Politics,” 2 (1):80. EngagingCommunitiestoBuildBetterPlaces 34
  37. 37. 06 APPENDIX InnovativePlanningintheU.S.35
  38. 38. San Francisco City Boston City Chicago Total Population* 805,235 617,594 2,695,598 Age (%)* Under 17 13.4 16.8 23.1 18-24 9.6 19.4 11.2 25-34 20.9 20.7 19.1 35-64 42.5 33.0 36.4 65 and above 13.7 10.1 10.3 Race (%)* White alone 48.5 53.9 45.0 Black or African American alone 6.1 24.4 32.9 Asian alone 33.3 8.9 5.5 Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Island- er alone and American Indian and Alaskan Native 0.9 0.4 0.5 Some Othe Race alone 6.6 8.4 13.4 Two or More Races 4.7 3.9 2.7 Family Income in the Past 12 Months (%)** Less than $10,000 3.5 7.7 7.7 $10,000 to $49,999 26.8 34.2 38.8 $50,000 to $74,999 13.5 14.4 16.6 $75,000 to $99,999 10.8 11.9 11.7 $100,000 to $200,000 28.1 24.5 23.0 $200,000 or More 17.5 9.4 6.6 Per Capita Income in the Past 12 months** $47,278 $33,589 $28,202 Tenure** Owner Occupied 36.9 34.2 46.1 Renter Occupied 63.1 65.8 53.9 APPENDIX A: Case City Demographic Overview Table 1: Demographic Data for the Case Sites * Census 2010    ** ACS 2008-2012 (5-Year Data) EngagingCommunitiestoBuildBetterPlaces 36