Thinking and Acting Outside the Box

In recognition of the city's upcoming 2012 bicentennial, the mayor of Columbus, Ohio, wanted to solicit public input in identifying transformational projects or programs, celebrating the city's 200th birthday, and setting neighborhood-level infrastructure priorities. This article describes the innovative approach that was developed to reach a broad audience in a relatively short time frame. An all-weather structure, called the ThinkTank, that included touch screen technology and web cameras was constructed and deployed at festivals and events throughout the city. An electronic survey in the ThinkTank asked open-ended questions about a variety of key issues. The questions were divided into three sections: quality of life (including alternative modes of transportation), celebrating the city and its people, and setting 21st century goals and innovations. Blog and video options were also offered so respondents could share their thoughts about improving the city. More than 1,500 people participated in the ThinkTank, generating 7,727 separate ideas or comments. In addition to the ThinkTank, the city also gathered citizen input through meetings, interviews and focus groups. A steering group will refine the information gathered and develop recommendations that will represent the priority programs and initiatives.

  • Availability:
  • Authors:
    • Papsidero, Vince
    • LaCloche, Linda
  • Publication Date: 2008-5


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Print
  • Features: Illustrations; Photos;
  • Pagination: pp 42-45
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01109970
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Aug 30 2008 11:59AM