Innovative Public Engagement Tools in Transportation Planning: Applications and Outcomes

This paper describes a model for public outreach and engagement developed specifically to reach out and involve historically under-represented communities: communities of color, immigrants and refugees, the disabled, seniors and youth. This model, known as the "Trusted Advocate", recruits, trains and compensates members of these communities who are well-respected and credible within their groups to play leading roles in the outreach and engagement process; and, in addition, offer critical advice to planning staff on a range of tactical devices helpful to meaningful engagement of the under-represented. The paper uses Seattle's neighborhood planning process (and preparation of the transportation element) as a case study within which to examine the application and effectiveness of the Trusted Advocate model and other specially crafted engagement tools. Past failures to involve a fully diverse range of community members in the planning process are analyzed and a new Mayor and Transportation Department Director's refusal to continue "business as usual" are identified as the most pivotal events in the City of Seattle's emerging commitment to better public outreach, that is, an engagement strategy that stresses cultural competency and an understanding of the past and ongoing impacts and influences of institutionalized racism.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: DVD
  • Features: Figures; Maps;
  • Pagination: 11p
  • Monograph Title: TRB 89th Annual Meeting Compendium of Papers DVD

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01156947
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: 10-2659
  • Files: TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: Jan 25 2010 11:17AM