Cambridge, Massachusetts is drafting a new master plan for the city and inclusive planning is the goal. However, they know that putting up a notice for a public meeting is not enough and have devised an interesting community engagement strategy based on the following points:
- Rethink public meetings: The city is changing the format of meetings so that it is more of a conversation and adding child care, translation services, and food.
- Bring the meetings outside: The mobile engagement station includes a big orange table shaped like the city of Cambridge with a printed map on the surface. There is also a 3D printed relief map so people can get an idea of heights.
- Make your communications opportunities to learn: The city will produce a printed newspaper with updates that will be distributed at city meetings and at pop-up kiosks around the city.
- Don’t wait until the end of the planning process to start implementing: Planning is a slow process especially if it covers 3 decades. Ensuring people continue to lend their voices to the process over time is to make them feel they were heard the last time.