HELPING YOUR VOICE REACH THE PUBLIC
PUBLIC INTERACTION IS KEY TO SUCCESS
In projects involving public property and funding, it is imperative that support is gathered at the community base through education and outreach efforts. We will coordinate public meetings through media interaction, press releases, public perception gauging and information channeling. We use graphics and visual aids that appeal to the general user and provide a vision that is understandable by all. By allowing the public to give us feedback and participation, we can develop the project in a healthy direction. Ensuring that the voices of everyone are heard and listened to, we will gain consensus and support so your projects can be a success..
During the client and public participation process, our design professionals use a tool we’ve coined “dotmocracy”. After our team members review a concept, design idea, or variety of planning options, participants are given a sheet of red, yellow and green dot stickers and are directed to examine the concepts, ideas, or options and stick green dots on elements they liked, red dots on elements they disliked, and yellow dots on those they were indifferent about. This allows our team as well as the participants to visually see what the majority liked and disliked about each concept, thus creating a democratic way to view the design development process. Workshop participants leave these dotmocracy exercises feeling like their “votes” had been heard and counted. We’ve found that project opposition is decreased following these efforts, and a sense of pride, excitement, and ownership is created for projects moving forward.
Graphics and visual aids of the conceptual design serve to communicate to the general public and stakeholders and help in the consensus building process. Using 3D graphics, we can provide a vision that is clearly understandable. Animation fly-throughs especially help the stakeholders see what their space could be like when built. Changes can even be made right in front of the public’s eyes so they can see what their ideas would impact. These tools have been shown to decrease opposition and create a sense of pride and excitement.
We use virtual participation forums as used in municipal, governmental and campus projects. The simple online platform creates effective participation strategies not limited by a physical location. A custom site is created for the project with topic areas chosen by the project team. The platform allows stakeholders and community members to submit original ideas, provide feedback to design concepts, prioritize planning projects, vote on supported projects, and complete surveys and questionnaires. This is a modern and innovative approach to public participation as it integrates social media tools and allows the participation process to be dynamic, inclusive, and innovative.