[WEBINAR] A Recipe for Award-Winning Online Community Engagement Featuring SCAG

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This highly visual 45-minute webinar presents research findings, proven best practices, practical tips and award-winning case studies to guide agencies towards the successful application of online community engagement for planning projects. Participants walk away with an understanding about how to leverage digital engagement to achieve unprecedented results using cost-effective tools.

The webinar showcases a wide range of outstanding planning projects throughout Southern California. Our special guests from the Southern California Association of Governments join us to talk about the LA/San Bernardino Inter-County Transit & Rail Study, one of the most innovative and successful outreach efforts we’ve seen. They discuss the innovative ways they combined online and targeted face to face community engagement to involve community members to help inform the plan. They also share advice for agencies seeking to improve the diversity and effectiveness of their community engagement efforts and talk about the positive difference that broad community support is making as they move forward.

Watch Recording

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This webinar features three presenters: Dave Biggs from MetroQuest, Stephen Fox from the Southern California Association of Governments and Yesenia Arias from Arellano Associates.

Participant Comments

Thanks so much for the great comments and kudos. Here’s some of our favorites:
“Very informative webinar exploring how planners can improve the typical community engagement process.”
“Great webinar for public outreach. Very interesting. The tool looks very effective!”
“Great presentation–tips provided by Dave Biggs were very useful.”
“One of the better webinars I’ve heard. Graphics were great.”
“This was excellent. Planners are better professionals if they understand how their project is presented to stakeholders via multiple communication vehicles, including online. Increased public participation is typically an organization’s goal, and this presentation outlined how the So Cal Association of Governments did that.”
“The newest concepts in outreach are well worth reviewing, and the variety of tailored outreach options is impressive.”
“Interesting, upbeat, helpful as we will be writing a comp plan over the next two years.”
“I really enjoyed this webinar and found it very useful and timely. It was a very visual presentation and I plan to look back at it again.”
“Public engagement has always been a tough job. This webinar was great – highlights quickly what is working”
Average rating: 4.6/5 stars

[Wow, thanks!]

AICP CM Credits

Here is the direct link to claim your AICP credits from the APA. Note that the date trips people up. This webinar is part of a series so they instructed us to set it up as an “on-demand” session so you’ll notice that the start and end are a year apart.

Bonus Case Study: NashvilleNext

Mentioned briefly in the webinar, this case study of the NashvilleNext process shows why they were the 2016 winners of the APA 2016 National Daniel Burnham Award for a Comprehensive Plan.


Here are the questions that were raised by participants or that came in after by email that we didn’t get a chance to respond to fully during the session. Note: there were a few questions directed to Steve and Yesenia. Those questions and responses will be posted in a few days.

Questions for Dave from MetroQuest

Q: MetroQuest looks useful. How can we get more info about it?
A: [From Dave] I apologize for not being able to provide more in-depth information about MetroQuest due to the educational nature of this session. The best person is Derek Warburton at MetroQuest (by email to derek.warburton@metroquest.com, or toll free phone: 1 855-215-0186. Derek will be pleased to make sure you get the information you need. In the meantime, here is a quick video to give you a better sense of the software.

Q: I’m curious to hear if any of your case studies featured the topic of zoning codes.
A: [From Dave] I showed the following zoning project that used MetroQuest during the Q&A in the webinar and promised to share the link so you could play around with it yourself. Here it is: https://bensenvillezoningdemo1.metroquest.com/. Since MetroQuest is essentially a library of screen types that can be mixed and matched and tailored to meet the needs of a variety of projects it’s not possible to show all the possible combinations. If there are specific project types that you’d like to see Derek (contact info above) would be happy to provide examples that could give you some interesting ideas.

Q: How have you dealt with organized opposition to projects? (i.e. the City of Claremont against Gold Line expansion)?
A: [From Dave] While we answered this briefly during the Q&A I thought you might be interested in this blog post I wrote on an experience I call, “What I Learned When an Angry Mob Destroyed My Public Meeting.” It was so popular that I started a series call The Fiasco Files.

Q: Would you share a copy of your online survey for the project?
A: [From Dave] The SCAG project used this online survey: https://lasb-demo.metroquest.com/. Feel free to play around since this is a demo version that does not collect data.

Q: What is the AICP course # for this webinar?
A: [From Dave] The course number is 9102565. Here is the direct link: https://planning.org/events/course/9102565/

Many thanks for joining us!

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