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Archive for the ‘engagement’ Category

Day Job plug….

The Drive to 500! 2013 promises to be an amazing time for the Vibrant NEO effort and Northeast Ohio. In getting ready for the coming year, we are making an end of year Drive to 500 Facebook Likes. (I actually think we can get quite a bit more!) Share it with your friends throughout the region.

Like Vibrant NEO here… http://www.facebook.com/VibrantNEO

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engaging online

 

Having recently completed a review of on-line engagement platforms for my day job, I came to the realization that quite a bit of tools to chose from.  It was amazing to see the multitude of options and new technologies.  The consulting firm, Wise Economy,  has published a new white paper about online public engagement platforms that are available commercially in the United States.

“This white paper was developed to orient readers who are interested in local public participation to some of the existing online platforms and services available at this time, and create a base level of understanding with regard to each approach’s strengths and most appropriate applications

The reader should note that the field of online public participation is a young one, and that new providers appear on a regular basis and may not be captured by this white paper. Existing providers also update their applications regularly and may add subtstantial capacities within a short time frame. Finally, the reader also note that online public participation providers are generally early stage firms, and vary widely in terms of their internal capacity and stabiliy.”

Click to access the paper.

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Kaid Benfield at NRDC highlights EPA’s Community Sustainability Awards

Today, the US Environmental Protection Agency announced seven winners of its 2012 National Awards for Smart Growth Achievement.  As I have noted in the past, the smart growth awards are given for creative, outstanding initiatives that protect the health and the environment of our communities while also strengthening local economies.  One of this year’s winners is a personal favorite, Denver’s Mariposa (South Lincoln) revitalization.

EPA honors seven outstanding community sustainability projects | Kaid Benfield’s Blog | Switchboard, from NRDC.

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Translating sustainability and the triple bottom line  into accessible concepts and actions has long been a difficult aspect of broadening the audience and stakeholders for sustainability initiatives.  This has been particularly true in how everyone can take action.

At its recent Sustainable Cleveland 2019 Summit, The City of Cleveland launched its new dashboard.  The new tool includes performance measures that will help to capture progress made along the 10 year initiative:

Measuring progress is essential to the success of Sustainable Cleveland. The performance indicators measure results, inform strategy, shine a light on what is working and they educate and inspire us through stories and metrics.

The framework focuses on sustainability initiatives in the areas of business, personal/social, built and natural.  Most importantly, the site highlights how you can affect these areas at home, work and in your community.   While some of the measurements have yet to be published, it is definitely worth at look.  Visit the SC 2019 dashboard site to see where you can make a difference!

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Involving youth in sustainability through urban issues… great post by Celesa Horvath on Maximum City program in Toronto

Making Sense of Responsibility

Last month, I had the opportunity – and the privilege – to participate in the Maximum City program in Toronto.  This program is the brainchild of Josh Fullan, a high school humanities and languages teacher at the University of Toronto Schools, my alma mater.  Last year, Josh ran a pilot program that brought a small group of students from two Toronto-area high schools together with a team of experts and professionals in a wide range of urban disciplines, including architecture, design, planning, transit, municipal governance, community development, and communications.  Over the course of  a week, the students listened to lectures and took part in design exercises and field trips in a series of modules that exposed them to new ideas and key concepts in urban development:  Built City, Planned City, Engaged City, Transit City, Liveable City, Pedestrian City, Governed City

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Matt Bevilacqua at Next American City previews a University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Center for Community Capital study on Homeownership and Civic Engagement in Low Income Neighborhoods.

The study assumes civic engagement stems from three overarching factors: Financial self-interest, more general self-interests (such as neighborhood amenities and social ties), and rates of mobility. Of these, it appears that mobility — how often one moves or stays put — is the strongest. From the report:

“This research also points to the importance of considering mobility when examining causes of civic engagement, particularly instrumental civic engagement. Our findings indicate that homeowners and renters are affected differently by residential mobility. For homeowners, moving may prompt them to become more involved in neighborhood groups as a way to establish ties with others and integrate in a new community. Renters who move, however, are less likely to turn to civic participation as a way to build new social network ties.”

While the conclusions are not totally surprising, given the current state of home ownership, they are sobering.  The challenge of building community becomes even more difficult given the foreclosure crisis and its effects on ownership in low income neighborhoods.

Access the entire study in the September issue of Urban Affairs Review.

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