Inclusive Engagement: Innovative City Approaches

What You'll Learn

  • Probe the usefulness of varying engagement tools to ensure underrepresented communities’ perspectives are integral to the planning process.
  • Explore process design that integrates civic engagement, data-driven decision making, and distinct priorities in a coherent framework.
  • Think more broadly about community engagement and civic education, and see how Washington, D.C., and Chicago meet the needs of diverse communities.

More Course Details

Learn how two cities — Washington, D.C., and Chicago — introduced nontraditional planning tools to broaden engagement with residents. This session showcases innovative tools for reaching underrepresented communities and tips for balancing community input with technical expertise and best practices when developing plans.

D.C. recently embarked on an 18-month process to update its sustainability plan: Sustainable DC 2.0. Much has changed since the development of D.C.'s original plan, including rapid growth. To ensure a broader segment of residents participated in the plan update, D.C. implemented an inclusive engagement process.

Meanwhile, the Chicago Architecture Foundation — now called the Chicago Architecture Center — launched the Meet Your City initiative to engage with an underrepresented sector of the population: youth. As part of this initiative, CAF hosted a design competition and published a 144-page color graphic novel to help youth understand their role as city stewards and to encourage active participation in the planning process.

This course showcases the innovative techniques used in these two cities and addresses best practices for balancing community engagement with quantitative rigor when developing or updating plans.