This year at the 2017 Transportation Research Board (TRB) Annual Meeting I had the honor of joining a panel of experts to speak on the topic of community engagement in the age of mobile technology. Apparently the topic caught people’s attention. Despite being one of the final session at the conference, the turnout was excellent and the Q&A was lively. The session was co-sponsored by the Standing Committee on Public Involvement in Transportation (ADA60) and the Standing Committee on Environmental Justice in Transportation (ADD50). If you aren’t a member already, please consider joining these great groups.

I gave a presentation called, “Examples & Best Practices for Mobile Community Engagement” where I showcased a variety of the best apps for transportation agencies and talked about best practices for apps, responsive websites and social media. Below you’ll find the recording from the session as well as some additional materials and links mentioned during the session.

The Frugal App Strategy for Transportation Agencies

The presentation highlights several of the best apps for transportation agencies to consider. A “frugal app strategy” is outlined which calls for agencies to support and leverage transportation related apps already available for their region and only consider developing an app is there are significant gaps. Many of the best apps are showcased in this recent Planetizen article by Jennifer Evans-Cowley.

APA 2016 National Planning Excellence Award for Public Outreach

The Southern Nevada Strong case study was highlighted as a best practice in community engagement employing a range of digital methods complemented by a range of face to face public involvement techniques. It was honored with the American Planning Association 2016 National Planning Excellence Award for Public Outreach.

 
This regional planning effort for Las Vegas and the surrounding region, led by the City of Henderson, exemplified best practices in community engagement in numerous ways. Three things struck me about their effort: massive online engagement in English and Spanish, multiple supporting strategies to target typically underrepresented groups, and unique urban ethnographic research partnership with the University of Nevada. The APA describes how their efforts paid off, “SNS received unprecedented community engagement and collaboration among local municipalities. The engagement efforts set a new standard among Sustainable Communities grant recipients. An estimated 6,000 community members participated in the process and nearly 70,000 inputs were received…” Congratulations to the SNS team and thank you for your leadership.