Fixing what’s broken about community engagement
Traditional community engagement revolves around public meetings. But what was designed to be a democratic process is anything but. Data from Boston University shows that 95% of public meeting participants are whiter, richer, and older than their fellow neighbors. Think about the people who don’t show up at these meetings.
The single mom who doesn’t have childcare during the meeting time. Neighbors who may not speak English as their preferred language. Renters who have been told they don’t have a say because they aren’t property owners. Or people who can’t or just don’t want to sit through a three-hour meeting. These community members outweigh the NIMBYs but are overlooked and unheard.
coUrbanize empowers more people to share their feedback – online, by text or voicemail, in any language.
BRINGING COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT ONLINE
Think of coUrbanize as your project’s home base – the best place for community members to get project updates and participate in the process. People get accurate project information straight from the source instead of relying on information from their neighborhood Facebook group or NextDoor page.
And coUrbanize offers more than just a standard website. Our platform is designed to connect project teams with those who live, work and play near the project – to gather their feedback and capture their support. Our team will help you design poll questions and project updates that keep the conversation productive (and usually positive).
How coUrbanize Compares with Traditional Engagement Methods
coUrbanize has supported more than 500 project teams with authentic community engagement resulting in on-time approvals and lower costs. With technology purpose-built for equitable engagement, teams benefit from best-practice technology and moderation, driving more positive results than traditional methods.
“Residents have expressed that they have been so grateful to have new and accessible tools to communicate their thoughts and participate in this process. Participation has long been a function of privilege, and the way we were doing engagement before doesn’t feel right anymore…This was such a unique opportunity to make the process more honest, open, and transparent.”
Vice Mayor, City of Cambridge
WHAT YOU CAN DO WITH COURBANIZE
Customizable PlatformShowcase the latest project information and plans on a flexible platform optimized for development + planning
Comment ModerationKeep conversations constructive with real-name requirement, comment review and spam + profanity filters
Email & SMS Updates
Email & SMS UpdatesScale community outreach with email and text-message (SMS) updates automatically sent to project followers
Project TimelineTrack historical milestones and update the community about upcoming meetings, filings and expected key dates
Text & Voicemail Integration
Text & Voicemail IntegrationCapture feedback from a broader representation of the community by empowering them to share comments via text and voicemail
PollingSurvey community members to get to know them better, understand their needs and to get feedback on project details
Curated Comment Topics
Curated Comment TopicsGather opened-ended responses with customized comment topics including the ability to comment on image and video prompts
Letters of Support
Letters of SupportCollect and share electronic letters of support from the community that can be easily added to public record
Private FeedbackGive local stakeholders a less intimidating vehicle to share feedback that is contrary to or different from popular opinion
Custom Tabs & Forms
Custom Tabs & FormsAdd pages to showcase FAQs or expand on community benefits. Use forms so community members can request a meeting
Interactive MapsEnable community members to comment on specific intersections and areas of the community
Analytics & Reports
Analytics & Reports
Get at-a-glance analysis of sentiment trends and outreach reports with project analytics and all comments
“Once entitlement began, coUrbanize allowed us to move quicker through the process because we were able to demonstrate how informed and engaged the residents are. The documented feedback we received from stakeholders, and subsequent changes to our plans as a result, were provided to agencies. This eliminated extra time and meetings where we would present back-and-forth updates with residents, and justification of changes to the reviewing agencies.”
Vice President of Development, WinnCompanies