Making Austin: public participation in a new comprehensive plan


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Making Austin: public participation in a new comprehensive plan

  1. 1. Public Participation in a New Comprehensive Plan September 14, 2009 Greg Claxton Planning and Development Department
  2. 2. Presentation Overview • Where we are in the process • Participation Workshop—August 5, 2009 • Focus Groups • The Public Participation Plan • Qualities and Characteristics of Effective Participation Plans • Questions
  3. 3. Planning process phases The three phrases of the Comprehensive Plan create the basic structure that organizes both public involvement and work products. 1 2 3 Plan kickoff Vision & The Comprehensive plan framework Plan
  4. 4. 1 2 3 Plan kick off Vision & The Comprehensive plan framework Plan 1.1 1.2 1.3 Designing Beginning Beginning to the process the process engage the public Plan kickoff • Consultant team meets community • Gather and review existing data and plans • Define process, including the participation plan • Establish roles and responsibilities
  5. 5. August 5, 2009 Participation Workshop • 70+ participants • Answered 4 questions • Chaotic but enthusiastic • Tremendous amount of input / 25 pages
  6. 6. August 5, 2009 Participation Workshop Q #1. What would make this interesting, engaging and meaningful enough to participate? – Creative, fun, exciting and interactive process – Provide visual communication – Ensure diversity and engage different groups of people/inclusiveness – Transparent, collaborative well defined process and accountability – Educate/Inform public on the process – Impact plan has on quality of life
  7. 7. August 5, 2009 Participation Workshop Q #2. What is the easiest way for you to participate? – Through information/communication technology – Face-to-face/Small groups/interactive – Convenient times and locations, etc. – Effective promotion and communication – Fun Innovative process
  8. 8. August 5, 2009 Participation Workshop Q #3. Who needs to be involved that normally isn’t? – Broad Spectrum – Disenfranchised/Marginalized/Underrepresented / Different cultural communities – Kids/ Young People/College Students – Families – High AND Low Income – People with nontraditional work hours – People outside the urban core – Businesses
  9. 9. August 5, 2009 Participation Workshop Q #4. What are some ways to get them involved ? – Educate/Communicate – Advertise/Promote – Make participation convenient/fun – Provide childcare/food/transit/translators – Make it about kids/Youth
  10. 10. Scientifically Selected Focus Groups • Two groups—September 1 (10 participants) & September 3 (9 participants) • Participants were screened for some higher education, non-Anglo, ETJ residents, variety of ages • Generally supported the results of the August 5 workshop • Asked questions which will be foundation of the first community forum series (issue scan) • Large majority born in Austin • More than half signed up to receive plan updates following the group discussion
  11. 11. Public Participation Plan: Guiding Philosophy Open to All: Participation in the development of the comprehensive plan is open and inclusive of all of Austin and its extraterritorial jurisdiction. Participation is encouraged across geographic, demographic, financial, and other lines. Council comment: More specificity in how we outreach to people who are not normally engaged.
  12. 12. Public Participation Plan: Overarching Goals Community Engagement: Beyond staff and the consultant reaching out, talking with, and listening to the community, the community engages with itself, across the traditional lines that divide Austin. Transparency: Participants see their input reflected in the outcomes from meetings and events and see how those outcomes shape and influence the plan.
  13. 13. Public Participation Plan: Guiding Philosophy Enthusiastic and Vibrant: The process welcomes and encourages enthusiasm, as a foundation for becoming an increasingly vibrant city. Council comment: More examples of fun activities throughout.
  14. 14. Public Participation Plan: Objectives • Build understanding of the project and credibility for the process. • Provide numerous and varied opportunities for public participation and input. • Understand the needs and interests of the City’s diverse constituency. • Carefully consider input and show a clear connection between input and outcomes.
  15. 15. Public Participation Plan: Participants and Roles • Citizens • Comprehensive Plan – Dedicated Participant – Occasional Participant Citizen Advisory Task – Infrequent Participant Force Council comment: Role of the • Partners Task Force in synthesizing – Community Leaders information. – Volunteers – Institutional Partners • Planning Commission – Council comment: Inclusion of • The Austin City the Technical Working Groups Council and other Boards & Commissions. Clear outline of • City of Austin Staff & how all of these play together. Consultant Team
  16. 16. Public Participation Plan: Spreading the Word • Web Site • Media Outreach • Online Social Networking • Newsletters, Updates and Fact Sheets • Speakers Bureau and Presentations
  17. 17. Public Participation Plan: Spreading the Word • Austin Public Library System • Engaging Activities • Email Blasts • Lectures and Discussion Events
  18. 18. Public Participation Plan: Spreading the Word • Brochures and Flyers • Community events • Book Clubs and Reading Lists • Meet-Ups
  19. 19. Public Participation Plan: Public Participation Public Kickoff and Open House (week of October 12) • Tentatively scheduled for October 12, 2009 at the Austin Convention Center • Open house format • Allow public to meet consultant team • Initial issue identification • Public input on the branding and logo for the Comprehensive Plan
  20. 20. Public Participation Plan: Public Participation Community Forum Series Community Forum Series #1 Issues and Aspirations: What do we want Austin to be in 10, 20, 25 years and beyond? SCHEDULED FOR THE WEEK OF NOVEMBER 9 THROUGH 13 Community Forum Series #2 Considering Alternative Futures: What are we becoming? SCHEDULED FOR SPRING 2010 Community Forum Series #3 Selecting a Preferred Future: What changes in direction are needed? Community Forum Series #4 Draft Plan Review: What actions should be taken to achieve the sustainable Austin of the future?
  21. 21. Public Participation Plan: Public Participation • Web and Statistically Valid Survey • Focus Groups • Meetings-In-A-Box • Online Forums—Draft Comments and Discussions • Key Stakeholder Interviews • Council comment: How do these tie the Community Forum Series together?
  22. 22. Public Participation Plan: Transparency and Documentation • Formal Documents—receiving public review • Working Documents • Media and Outreach Materials • Project Journal
  23. 23. Public Participation Plan: Monitoring and Feedback • Mechanisms built into the participation process ― Comprehensive Plan Citizens Advisory Task Force ― Partners ― Evaluation Forms ― Media Coverage ― Team Self-Evaluation • Feedback can be used to adjust participation process • Council comment: Be more explicit here.
  24. 24. Public Participation Plan: Qualities and Characteristics of Effective Participation Plans • Sound principles and objectives • Meaningful input • Clarity • Flexible and adaptable
  25. 25. QUESTIONS?