Public Engagement - Top Content

John Pattison
John Pattison
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"Most Public Engagement is Worthless"

This popular, classic Strong Towns essay explains in clear terms why so many public engagement efforts are utter failures.

"Most Public Engagement is Worse than Worthless"

This essay, a response to the one listed above, goes further in discussing the problems with "public engagement" led by our local governments.

"We Don't Need More 'Invitations to the Table.' We Need a New Table."

It’s not enough to merely send out more invitations to the existing table. If we’re prepared to truly be humble servants, if we’re ready to reorient our local governments away from the hierarchy of governments and towards the urgent needs of people within our communities, we actually have to redefine the table.

"'Business as usual' is bankrupting our cities. Here's how to challenge the status quo."

Here are 12 tips for local leaders who want to apply a Strong Towns approach in their communities—and get others in leadership to come along, too.

"Stop Asking the Public What They Want"

We ask members of the public to be experts in things they are not. At the same time, we don't tap into the very valid forms of expertise they do have. The result undermines trust in the planning process.

"How to do Real Public Engagement"

This essay offers a wealth of useful tips for doing public engagement that truly listens to residents and works for their needs.

"The Ultimate Guide to Better Public Engagement"

This article provides resources, tools, and advice for people aiming to do better public engagement in their cities.

"4 Tips for Better Community Engagement"

How do you move your city forward in a way that benefits everyone? This article brings together four meaningful pieces of advice from leaders at an America Walks conference.

"The public hates planners but it doesn't have to be that way."

In a country built on private property rights, how did we arrive at a point where the public genuinely fears the power of a branch of local government? And what can planners do to improve municipalities while working towards a more civil public debate? Read this essay to find out.

"4 Problems with the Way Governments Communicate about Public Meetings"

One big problem with public engagement is the way governments communicate about it: badly. This article spells out the pitfalls in government communications today.


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