Public Outreach: Listening to the Voice of the Community
At Saratoga Associates, our approach to public outreach begins with a facilitation team of landscape architects, architects, engineers, and planners. This broad perspective and experience provides us with the technical knowledge and communication skills needed to engage communities and stakeholders. Our team knows how to address public goals and concerns quickly and efficiently, while keeping in mind cost and budget constraints. This approach brings people and ideas together to create a tailored design solution.
We are recognized for our regional leadership in public outreach and community engagement. We know that the projects we gather input on will become a part of the fabric of their communities for generations. Our focus is to remain neutral and transparent during meetings and to use multiple engagement methods to ensure that everyone has an equal opportunity to receive information and provide feedback. The strength of our projects comes from the unified vision the community creates. By building support and educating each other, we are able to bring projects from concept to reality.
Every every community and its projects are unique and must be treated as such. To be successful, each solution must come from the contextual and site-specific characteristics of the project location and surrounding community. We have learned that each community and its stakeholders are instrumental in guiding the design process. Our ability to gather input from an array of stakeholders greatly improves the probability of success for public projects. We have decades of experience working with project committees, local leadership, public officials, college students and faculty, and political interest groups to bring people together in support of projects.
Using Technology to Boost Public Engagement
We believe – now more than ever – that successful public outreach must be accessible and timely, providing multiple methods for stakeholders, community members, and residents to engage with the project. By embracing online communication, we have expanded our audience to new members that would have never had the opportunity to be involved in the planning process. As more community members are meaningfully engaged in deliberations, decision making, and project implementation, there is greater community interest and buy-in to ensure project acceptance or completion.
Our experience enables us to engage stakeholders through virtual platforms for large meetings, workshops, forums, and consultations. Here’s how we do it:
- We use video conferencing tools to host, record, and present materials.
- We create online polling, survey forms, and questionnaires that are used in conjunction with recorded meetings for data gathering.
- We use social media accounts to increase public awareness, engagement and accessibility.
- We develop 3D models and renderings to visually represent concepts that are uploaded and posted to online platforms.
The recorded material allows for the community to view during convenient times and the use of feedback forms allows for public input to be collected from those who cannot participate live. Saratoga Associates’ solutions promote the efficient use of staff time, limit billing and travel costs, increase public accessibility, remove one-time-only meeting restrictions, and streamline data collection.
How We Can Help
We tailor our approach to meet your needs. The following is a list of methods and tools we use to help you connect with your community!
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