Envisioning & Implementing the Future of Stormwater Engagement - In Real Time
Every stormwater green infrastructure project has its own unique set of needs and priorities. Engaging communities with diverse populations in regard to stormwater/green infrastructure can be challenging, especially as disparities exist in community members' ability or preferences for how to engage, and if they have previously felt dismissed, unheard, uninvited, or overlooked. However, certain principles and processes can be applied to ensure equitable and meaningful engagement across diverse audiences, with positive outcomes for your stormwater green infrastructure projects and overall community resilience. In our ever-changing world, with increasing pressure for public involvement juxtaposed with our current need for social distancing - and an expectation for more virtual engagement - partners for stormwater green infrastructure must get creative while remaining practical and flexible in how we develop and implement community engagement initiatives.
Presentation will: (a) highlight lessons learned and explore best practices for innovative community engagement in green infrastructure projects; and (b) consider how to evaluate the impact of such projects; within unique community contexts and amidst uncertain and dynamic circumstances (such as, but not limited to COVID-19); paying particular attention to equitable virtual community engagement. Topics will include (but are not limited to): establishing a target audience and best method for reaching that audience; creative use of social media and virtual platforms; incorporating community input into site design; engaging volunteers to accomplish your goals; mobilizing community members as champions; live virtual events; and non-live mobile input opportunities.
This presentation directly addresses the conference theme through consideration of: the future of social media engagement around stormwater; current & future virtual engagement as a result of COVID; envisioning equitable, inclusive engagement; and highlighting multi-benefit projects that meet the needs of specific underrepresented subsets of the community: promoting a design that ensures equity (accessibility, linguistic representation in signage, etc.).