Key to Urban Renewal: Public Engagement

A few weeks ago over on our Gov 2.0 blog, we highlighted how Boston has been using crowdsourcing for input on redevelopment projects.  A recent article in Next City looks at the bigger movement this is part of in Boston: an approach to Urban Renewal that involves a lot more civic engagement.  It’s a strategy based on some hard lessons-learned.  Infamous redevelopment projects in the mid-20th century still serve as case studies on “what not to do.” The city is hoping to change that reputation, and the Next City article looks at what it will take to do so:

Next up for the BRA: another round of public workshops to solicit ideas for updating the goals of urban renewal plan areas. The BRA is also working to take the engagement process beyond public meetings. Its robust website encourages feedback and gives much more comprehensive information on the current plan areas.

Urban renewal may indeed find a fresh look in Boston, but increasing opportunities for input from residents is only helpful in the long-term if public gatherings can be used to develop and communicate a sustained and engaged community vision.

You can read more here.


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