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Engaging Citizens on Sustainable Development in St. Louis

St. Louis, Missouri, is making a significant effort to engage area residents on a Regional Plan for Sustainable Development to revitalize the region. Public Agenda is taking part in this effort by consulting with FOCUS St. Louis, a local engagement organization, and helping them design and implement a robust and far-reaching resident engagement initiative.

The planning process, funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), began in early 2012 and will unfold over the course of three years. The plan will include housing, transportation and economic development, contributing to a more sustainable region. It will help connect local, regional, state and federal planning efforts and make federal and local investments more effective and efficient.

The role of FOCUS St. Louis is to plan and carry out more than 60 informational public meetings, gather public input, understand how area residents would like their communities to grow and develop, and ultimately, help incorporate this information into the final plan.

Working with key staff at FOCUS St. Louis, Public Agenda assisted in:

  • Developing a multi-part, year-long public engagement plan
  • Helping the Plan’s Public Engagement Committee confront the major obstacles to engagement and take advantage of assets and opportunities where they exist
  • Conducting a two-day public engagement facilitator training with the Public Engagement Committee and initiative partners.
  • Building the capacity of other initiative partners to engage citizens and other critical stakeholders in sustainable development planning.

So far, FOCUS St. Louis has successfully managed the roll out of 18 public engagement meetings in 9 locations and is currently conducting the third round of meetings.

Throughout the process, Public Agenda has provided ongoing strategic guidance and consulting services as the engagement plan has rolled out. The discussions and activities at the meetings have helped initiative leaders identify citizens’ priorities for development; their concerns regarding livibility, the environment, transportation, housing, and the economy; and locations to target for revitalization, maintenance, and sustainable development.

For more information about the development of the Plan and summaries of the public engagement meetings, visit the St. Louis Regional Sustainable Communities website.