3/28/2018 | Posted at 12:37 pm

Public Engagement: Leveraging Technology to Get to What Matters Most

Exert from Spaulding Ranch public programming survey results. Community participants were asked to
arrange program elements on a map to best align with their vision for the park. 


Nearly nine-in-ten Americans are online, three-quarters of Americans own a smartphone (64% of lower income Americans own a smartphone), and seven-in-ten Americans use social media. Technology use is one of the greatest common denominators between cultures, race, class, age and gender. Leveraging technology in participatory design as powerful tools to create an inclusive public engagement, reveal diversity of opinions, and give voice to the silent majority. Through the lens of a recent GGLO public park project in Boise, Idaho, Christine Harrington and Jennifer Tomlinson explore how to incorporate technology into a multi-channel approach to leverage the expertise of the stakeholders, uncover the neighborhood sense of identity, and build social capital and greater community consensus around a beloved and contested Historic Farm.

Report Authors
Christine Harrington, Senior Associate, GGLO
Jennifer Tomlinson, Parks Superintendent, City of Boise Parks and Recreation

Presented at the 2018 WASLA Annual Conference in Seattle, WA