Engaging with Communities and Stakeholders in Universal Design

  • Planning and design for our public spaces often attracts great emotions from our communities. Public participation, or community engagement, is based on the belief that those who are affected by a decision have a right to involved in the decision-making process. It includes the promise that the public’s contribution will influence the decision. This presentation will provide some insights into how outrage can be minimised and how a better engagement process can result in a better outcomes in planning and designing public infrastructure that meets the needs of the community. Included in the presentation are tools and techniques for engaging with the communities who use public places, and the importance of the promises made to the public and stakeholders whether that be through informing, consulting, involving, collaborating or empowering that community in the decision making process.  This is particularly relevant when considering design for liveable communities for people regardless of their age, gender or ethnicity. Engagement is about reducing risk for decision makers and achieving better outcomes for communities and stakeholders.

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