Hillsborough County Metropolitan Planning Organization, FL
The Planning Commission
Hillsborough County in central Florida, which includes the city of Tampa, projects its population of 1.2 million will grow by 600,000 more people plus add 400,000 new jobs by 2040. In order to guide its future, the county asked local residents’ to explore potential growth strategies. It wanted to find out what citizens liked and didn’t like about different scenarios as well as consider how current decisions might impact the future. Following this first phase, the county will use the feedback to create a final vision and use it to develop a long range transportation plan and a comprehensive plan, which will be the subject of a second round of public consultation.
With a bilingual presentation, MetroQuest was used as a five-screen configuration to query people on their top priorities plus what they thought about issues around homes, jobs, transportation, and funding. During its three-month run, more than 3,500 citizens provided their ratings, opinions and comments for county planners to consider.
“Our primary goal was to reach residents of Hillsborough County and gather meaningful input on scenario planning that supports an upcoming Long Range Transportation Plan update. The MetroQuest tool worked exceptionally well as a two-way communication conduit. We were able to both share information and educate the public as well as collect comments and opinions.”
“Professionally, I have tried other methods of public engagement in the past that do not work as well [as MetroQuest]. We often rely on more traditional means like meetings and workshops, etc. that people don’t feel they have the time for, nor are they excited about. Who wants to sit through a 20-minute PowerPoint presentation when they should be home getting kids fed and to bed? The MetroQuest tool looks fast. It looks interesting. It is available to use when the user is available.”
“[Their] combination of skills and ease of communication made the process enjoyable. Working with MetroQuest staff to develop and launch the site truly feels like being part of a seamless and supportive team.”