Audio: Open Data, Apps and Planning (APA 2014)

In my post of the videos from the Open Data, Apps and Planning session that I moderated at the American Planning Association national conference last week, I promised that I would post audio of the whole thing for those of you who are particularly gluttons.  You’ll find that audio at the end of this post.

 

But there’s an additional bennie: We had several excellent questions and answers in the second part of the session, and these are not captured in the videos. So if you haven’t watch the videos (or if my mad camera skills made you motion sick…), you might find it useful to listen to the whole thing. If you did, I’d recommend that you advance the audio to the 45:00 mark — you’ll hear some great insights that you won’t get from the videos. And no erratic zooming, either.

Here’s a few of the insights you’ll gain from the audio:

  • Planners tend to make a few basic mistakes in setting up public engagement.  One of them is that they forget that many people won’t read maps the way the planners intended.  Brad Barnett of PlaceMatters made a comment in his opening comments about the need to take a “layered” approach to helping people learn about the issues that planners want them to address played out in several people’s descriptions of using maps in public engagement: if you simply give people a big map and expect them to pull out big themes or trends, chances are many people won’t know how to do that — instead, they’ll go looking for their house.  That’s not where we wanted them to start, but that’s where they can find an anchor, a place to explore the map from.  No wonder they so often get obsessed over the parcel level – we didn’t help them start anywhere else.

 

  • Frank Hebbert of OpenPlans noted that planners have a “blind spot” when it comes to grasping the power and then game-changing potential of open data, since they already know how to find the information they want.  But that’s an over-simplified view of how communities work — and it overlooks what a powerful partner residents can be if they can get to the same information on their terms.

 

  • The tension between controlling participation and data and keeping it open seems to represent an ongoing issue.  Michelle Lee of Textizen noted that they think making data available to everyone is so important that they actually give a discount to communities that commit to keeping Textizen data open to everyone.  And Frank said that one of the first things they usually have to work through with planners is how open a process they should use.  Frank said that the planners usually want controlled access and sign-ins, Frank usually pushes back against that, and the planners and officials usually end up very happy with the amount and quality of feedback they get, even when they don’t exactly know where every comment came from. 

 

  • Sometimes people assume that there’s an either-or relationship between online and in-person engagement.  Once you’ve listened to these folks, you should realize that it’s not — online engagement is part of the continuum, just another set of tools for getting to the same big objectives.  Whether you buy a shirt in a store or on a web site, you still end up with a shirt, right? And even the most diehard techies still go to stores.  Similarly, online and in-person engagement are just different ways to enable people to participate.

 

  • Finally, Alicia Roualt of LocalData said that she thinks one of the biggest needs in this space right now is some guidance for people to help them identify which of the dozens of online tools best fits their community’s needs and their work’s objectives.  Having tried to get my head around the range and variety of platforms and apps through my white paper, I probably know as well as anyone how important, and how difficult, that is.  And I’m continuing to try to figure out how to do that.  If you have any bright ideas or want to be part of developing that solution, please let me know.

My deep thanks again to Alicia, Brad, Frank and Michelle for their great insights and willingness to schlep to Atlanta.  I’m looking forward to continuing the conversation with these bright minds sometime soon.

Annotated presentations from APA 2012

When I give a presentation, my slides anymore usually have more words than pictures.  That’s what the presentation experts say you should do, but it means that when you download them from Slideshare or a conference website, the reaction is pretty consistent:  “Wha…..?”

To try to solve that problem, I have gotten into the habit of creating annotated versions of my presentations — basically the Notes page in Powerpoint with a description of what I said. (or what I should have said if I’d been more clever at that moment — hey, it’s my notes, let me pretend…)

When I gave two presentations at the American Planning Association conference last week — one as part of a panel on Commercial District Revitalization and Redevelopment, and one on Web 2.0 Tools for Public Engagement — I promised to post annotated versions for the people who came to download and use as notes.  And I figure some of the rest of you might find them useful, or at least amusing, too.

These links will take you to PDF versions with my annotations, which you should be able to download.

Feel free to share.  If you’re interested in a presentation like one of these for your organization or event, send me a note.  I talks real goodly. 🙂

Secrets of Retail Revitalization: Presentation at APA 2012

Web 2.0 Tools for Public Participation APA 2012

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Slides from APA Ohio, National Trust and Downtown Colorado presentations (also known as the Dry Throat Tour)

 For those of you that attended sessions with me at conferences in September or October, I am glad to say that I finally got the slides posted to Slideshare so that you can download them whenever you want.  As a gentle reminder, I am available for your conference, workshop, training, Little League 7th inning stretch…. maybe I should reconsider that last one….

 

Here’s the link to the session I did with Peter Mallow on economic evaluation methods.  I owe you all some examples, I am still trying to round up some good ones.  We also do have video of that session, which needs some editing… we’ll get that posted as soon as I figure it out.  🙂

http://www.slideshare.net/drucker/economic-evaluation-apa-oh-v-22

 Here’s the session with Mark Barbash and Jim Kinnett on National Trends in Economic Development.  I also need to find some illustrative examples of a couple of things from that session, which I will work on.  We do have video of most of that session, but it’s mostly the backs of people’s heads, which is what happens when you have three vertically-challenged presenters.   As an FYI, this session for us was a proof of concept for a broader training program that we are developing, so if you think some help with Economic Development for Non Economic Developers might be something your organization would find useful, please let me know.   

http://www.slideshare.net/drucker/national-trends-and-best-practices-in-local-economic-draft-41#moreList

 Here’s the session on Public Participation.  I don’t have video or audio of this session, but I am doing a reprise at the Northeast Ohio Planning and Zoning Workshop on November 18, so we’ll try to rectify that.  Stay tuned. 

http://www.slideshare.net/drucker/public-participation-oh-apa-10-20-11

After my stint in Dayton, I made a mad dash to Buffalo to present on You Can Do the Math: methods for demonstrating the economic benefits of historic preservation policies.  Here are those slides — both the slides and an audio recording will be available from the Trust.  I’ll post the links here as soon as I get them. 

http://www.slideshare.net/drucker/you-can-do-the-math-nthp-2011

 Finally, I realized that I never posted the slides from the Downtown Colorado Inc. plenary session I did in September in lovely Durango.  This presentation is a macro-scale overview of what I am thinking about lately, and what I think we need to do to reboot planning and economic development so that our communities are vibrant and resilient for the long term.  Again, I am  available for your annual conference, initiative kickoff or five year old’s birthday party.  Scary clowns and balloons not included. 

http://www.slideshare.net/drucker/an-invitation-to-build-a-wise-economy-rucker-doi 

If anything does not work, or if you have any questions, please feel free to ping me.  And remember, I supply my own batting helmet.

Man, what a turnout! And a little info on Pruning Back Retail.

First, thanks again to everyone who participated in the session on sustainable economic development at the APA National Conference in New Orleans. I am still shocked so many of you were there… that early… on a Sunday… in New Orleans! If you wanted to talk about something but didn’t get a chance because you were there with 300 of your new closest friends (!), feel free to leave me a comment here. If you want to see the presentation again, you can get the slides at my LinkedIn profile (www.LinkedIn.com). Just go to SlideShare at the bottom of the profile page.

Second, here is a tidbit from the Wall Street Journalthat emphasizes a point that I have been making: most communities need to prune back the amount of space that they are dedicating to retail. As this article indicates, rental rates on the whole continue to decline- and we all remember from Econ 101 that if supply goes up and demand does not keep up, prices will fall. So most of us clearly don’t need more retail.

However — I am a believer that every challenge contains the seed of an opportunity — many of those low-rent retail spaces may be well suited to transition to something else. They key is to prod/enable those property owners to make transitions that add value, not just continue to patch things together and scrape along.

http://www.smartbrief.com/news/icsc/storyDetails.jsp?issueid=6EDD85A0-C813-4A19-87F2-80FB646120B9&copyid=9F6DF274-3B2E-4742-BB8C-BBA0287833EE&sid=9a375f81-708d-44e5-a5f7-ca5c11478ab7&brief=icsc