Determining the appropriate budget, staffing needs, tools and techniques to execute an effective public involvement process as part of early project planning is a goal shared by most project managers and leaders. How to make those determinations, often with little to no background in the public involvement field, can be a challenge to agency and local government professionals.
The Langdon Group has worked with state agencies and local city governments to design and implement an online tool – the Public Outreach Planner (POP) – for determining the appropriate level of public involvement needed during various phases and types of projects. Through a series of customized multiple-choice questions, the Public Outreach Planner (POP) guides the user to a POP Level of 1 through 5. Each level provides recommended budget estimates, staffing needs and appropriate tools and techniques for various types of impacts.
TLG works closely with clients to create a customized tool to easily and quantifiably determine the appropriate level of public involvement for their projects, while adhering to NEPA and other local, state and national requirements. TLG plans and facilitates several meetings and workshops with executive staff and specific department/regional staff to develop and refine a process that is reflective of the needs and culture of the agencies and cities. TLG’s project teams and web designer implements feedback and suggestions into this award-winning planning tool. TLG further delivers on this innovative tool with customized training for clients and customized, online tracking workbooks to for documentation of public involvement activities.
The POP received recognition from the American Council of Engineering Companies as an Idaho Chapter Excellence and National Recognition awards winner, winner of the American Planning Association Idaho Chapter Gem Award, and from the Idaho Transpiration Department as an Excellence in Transportation Award winner. It has been featured in presentations at the Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting, The International Association for Public Participation North American Conference and the Western Association of State Highway Transportation Officials Annual Conference.