Local governments are constantly seeking new ways to engage with their communities. In recent years, community engagement platforms have become vital tools for local governments to connect with their residents. And let us tell you, we are constantly inspired by the achievements of the 400+ CitizenLab communities that have made two-way communication and inclusivity a top priority.
That’s why we’re thrilled to share the successful launches of not one, not two, but three new platforms in Plattsburgh, NY, Hellam Township, PA, and Oakley, CA. Let’s dig into the details so you can learn more about how your peers use their platforms to address specific community concerns with our unique features.
For a quick overview, here’s what each city is focused on in its engagement efforts:
Plattsburgh, NY has focused on a park renewal project, Main Street construction updates, and a Hometown Heroes project.
Hellam Township, PA has emphasized climate resiliency projects, a multi-regional master plan, and stormwater management.
Oakley, CA has been working towards improving the regional park. Let’s take a closer look at these platforms and celebrate the positive impact they have had on their communities.
Do any of these projects sound familiar? Keep reading to learn more.
Plattsburgh, NY: With a population of 19,900, this Upstate New York town uses the platform to encourage community engagement and participation in its projects. Recently, with the closure of the city’s Recreation Department, the importance of a comprehensive planning effort to guide the city’s decisions regarding its parks has become more apparent. That’s why the city has launched a Parks Renewal Project.
Using the CitizenLab platform, residents can actively participate in the project and contribute their ideas and feedback on how to improve their community’s parks. Using our timeline feature, residents can get a clear idea of when and where they are able to engage, while also having a go-to hub for information to see how the project is progressing. The project will focus on five key opportunity areas and align with the city’s ongoing development of a Comprehensive Plan outlining its objectives and policies.
Meanwhile, the city is also amidst its significant Main Street construction project. Construction is one of the most frustrating experiences, whether you’re just trying to drive to work or cross the street to get that coffee to kickstart your day. Jackhammers before a caffeine fix? Not fun. But with our platform, they can proactively keep residents informed on traffic disruptions and changes to the town’s infrastructure to help mitigate some of those daily frustrations.
Plattsburgh launched its platform on March 29th and has already made a buzz in their community. Local news stations such as WCAX say it’s putting local projects right at the fingertips of the people, and the Mayor himself, Christ Rosenquest, said to The Sun: “The implementation of this engagement platform will help us grow our efforts of inclusion and ensure many more have the ability to engage the city on projects that are of importance to our residents and community members.”
With almost 150 registrants in its first week, Plattsburgh is well on its way actively shaping its community with, and for, its residents. Get inspired by their work and check out their platform!
Hellam Township, PA: Engage Hellam Township on three key initiatives: Climate Resiliency projects, a Multi-Regional Master Plan, and Stormwater Management. The town, which has a population of 6,000, is using the platform to engage its community members in these important projects.
Through the platform, residents can first learn about the town’s Climate Resiliency and Stormwater management projects, which aim to mitigate the effects of climate change and protect the community from natural disasters as well as protect local waterways and residents’ property. As a region that regularly experiences significant flooding, the community has put together a task force to tackle stormwater management to mitigate the effects of these climate events, and on this platform residents can help provide input to ensure the task force is addressing the top priority issues.
Hellam Township’s next project is the Multi-Regional Master Plan, a long-term planning effort to guide the development and growth of the township and the surrounding region. The project is expected to take 12-16 months, and local officials recognize the importance of keeping their residents informed about the process and decisions made. The CitizenLab platform will enable officials to keep residents updated across municipalities, and it will serve as a centralized hub for internal communications, allowing for more streamlined information sharing and more efficient decision-making processes. This unique collaboration between multiple municipalities will gather feedback from the communities, informing the future of the area.
Plus, to spice up the platform and foster more community togetherness, they’ve come up with the #HellamHappy project! This project is all about asking fun questions to their residents, to spark lively conversations and create a more cheerful and playful vibe in the community. First up, why do you choose to live in Hellam Township?
The CitizenLab platform for Oakley, CA primarily focuses on developing and improving a Regional Park in the town. With a population of 43,770 and located near San Francisco, Oakley uses the platform to engage its residents in the park’s planning and implementation processes.
The Oakley Regional Community Park is an exciting new 55-acre development in the city. As the city’s recreational needs continue to evolve, they are seeking to engage with critical stakeholders and the overall community from the outset. By doing so, they can identify potential programmatic elements and develop a shared vision for the park that reflects the needs and interests of the community.
The platform empowers Oakley’s residents to shape the Regional Community Park by participating in surveys, polls, and discussion forums to offer feedback and suggest ideas for development. The platform also serves as a gateway and communication channel for in-person community meetings, providing a new way to reach residents who may not have known about them otherwise. This community-driven approach will be used to create a master plan that maximizes funding opportunities, fosters partnerships, and expands programming. By empowering residents to take an active role, Oakley is creating an inclusive and dynamic park that meets the needs of the entire community.
Want to hear more about how your city could be next? Connect with one of our community engagement experts today, and we’d be happy to chat about best practices, give you a sneak peek at the back end of our platform, and discuss how CitizenLab can help make your community engagement more efficient, effective, and inclusive.