CONNECT Our Future Receives Award for Public Engagement
Centralina Council of Governments (CCOG) received the 2016 National Association of Development Organizations (NADO) Innovation Award at the group’s annual gathering in San Antonio, Texas, held over October 15-18, 2016. The Innovation Award recognizes state-of-the-art approaches to advancing economic development and improved quality of life.
CCOG was the only organization to win an award in the Communicating Results and Public Engagement category for the extensive outreach and cross-sector collaboration exhibited in the CONNECT Our Future project. The category honors projects that promote public participation in the growth and development process. The 14-county, bi-state CONNECT project provided a comprehensive approach to engagement offering nearly 600 opportunities for input and actively seeking feedback from residents. The CONNECT project used public engagement to guide the creation of this region’s first Regional Growth Framework, a set of strategies to accommodate growth while allowing communities to maintain what they love and value about their community.
“The design of our public engagement is always to recognize the essential value created by listening and understanding the concerns, ideas, interests and expectations of residents and other community stakeholders” commented Centralina Executive Director Jim Prosser. “The dividend paid by doing this includes plans that genuinely reflect the community, this in turn accelerates plan implementation. We are clearly seeing that with our CONNECT Regional Growth Framework.”
Local governments in the region have gravitated to the disciplined public engagement techniques used in CONNECT to address a variety of issues at the local level. Local engagement projects include: Lincolnton and Troutman’s outreach on current municipal services, Salisbury’s engagement on downtown infrastructure improvements, Mooresville’s engagement on community based housing strategies, and Stallings’ engagement on its Comprehensive Land Use Plan.
NADO is an organization that provides advocacy, education, research, and training for regional planning and development organizations focusing on economic development and quality of life. NADO represents 540 multi-jurisdictional planning and development organizations including federal, state, and local officials.
Are you interested in engaging your residents, businesses, and/or members on a complex or controversial project or program? For more information about our engagement services, the NADO Innovation Award, or any CONNECT Our Future projects, contact Michelle Nance, Planning Director at CCOG, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 704-372-2416.
CONNECT Tools in Action: Public engagement tools and practices provide a vital approach for public discussion around policy, programs, and projects. Click here to learn more.