In our opinion, evaluation of participation metrics should be paid more attention to. More often than not, online communities don’t serve their purpose of engaging visitors, simply because they are not being monitored appropriately for optimal participation.
Below, you will find a few ideas for what can be done to raise the bar to measure and increase public engagement in online communities:
Connecticut urban planner says social media is not the future of communication (it's the present). The AICP code of ethics states that, as professional planners, “Our primary obligation is to serve the public interest and we, therefore, owe our allegiance to a conscientiously attained concept of the public interest that is formulated through continuous and open debate,” and further “We shall give people the opportunity to have a meaningful impact on the development of plans and programs that may affect them.” We expect these things of ourselves, but we may be falling short of these expectations if we ignore how people are choosing to communicate. In order to provide our communities opportunities to offer input on “the public interest,” planners need to do more than issue the perfunctory legal ad. If we really want to reach a broad audience like we say we do, it makes an awful lot of sense to go where the audience is. And increasingly, that growing audience can be found on smartphones and laptops navigating Facebook and Twitter.
Community PlanIt is an online engagement platform for local planning efforts. Bringing together the interactivity of social networks and the incentives of online games, Community PlanIt transforms participatory planning into a fun, engaging activity for all ages. Users participate online in several weeks of themed missions to earn PlanIt Coins, which they spend on the values most important to them. The community joins together at the end of the process to discuss the results and plan for the future.
Some technology companies and city officials see potential in using smartphones to alert users to potholes and train delays. Urban planners, technology companies and officials from local governments see potential in projects like these that mine data collected from phones to provide better public services.
Formerly the Bicycle Program Manager for the City of Portland and a current principal with Alta Planning and Design , Mia Birk is a preeminent figure in bicycle and pedestrian planning in the US. As part of a tour promoting the release of her new book, Joyride: Pedaling Toward a Healthier Planet, Birk spoke to an audience of over100 people at Union College’ s Nott Memorial in Schenectady on May 25th.
I have always been impressed with the substantial body of public participation (P2) knowledge and experience that resides in the urban planning profession. This will be my third year chairing the International Association for Public Participation (IAP2) Core Values Awards, and each year IAP2 has received high quality urban planning projects from around the world. It got me thinking that public participation practitioners in any sector have lots to learn from their colleagues in urban planning.