Missed it? Access the Webinar Recording: A Recipe for Award-Winning Online Community Engagement

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A Recipe for Award-Winning Online Community Engagement

Check out the webinar video here. It’s free. 

This highly visual 45-minute webinar presents research findings and proven best practices, practical tips and award-winning case studies to guide agencies or local governments towards the successful application of online community engagement for planning projects. Participants will walk away with an understanding about how to leverage digital engagement to achieve unprecedented results using cost-effective tools.

This session features special guests from the City of Abbotsford, BC talking about Abbotsforward, one of the most innovative and successful Official Community Planning projects we’ve ever seen. They are online to talk about the innovative ways they combined online and targeted face to face community engagement to involve over 8,000 community members in the creation of a plan for Abbotsford, BC. They also share advice for agencies seeking to improve the breadth and effectiveness of their community engagement efforts and talk about the positive difference that broad community support is making in their implementation process.

Learning Outcomes

  • What to look for when selecting online engagement tools for planning projects,
  • How to design a fast and effective online experience,
  • How to collect meaningful public feedback that is directly usable in planning documents,
  • How to promote online participation,
  • How to leverage mobile, touchscreen kiosks and other technologies effectively, and
  • How to leverage social networking tools strategically.

Who Should View This

  • Planning project leaders & staff,
  • Public Information Officers, and
  • Outreach and engagement personnel.

Tiny Houses Built on Vacant Property Serve Homeless Veterans

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In Kansas City, MO, military veterans started a program to build tiny houses on vacant land for struggling and homeless veterans. They formed a nonprofit organization and acquired the property from the Kansas City Land Bank. To build and equip each house costs an estimated $10,000.

“The good news is veteran homelessness is declining thanks to programs like this one.”

Click here for the full story.

Window Decals to Spruce Up Downtown Vacant Properties

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The city of Durango, Colorado plans to distribute vinyl window decals for display on vacant properties downtown which will highlight historical images and dates, as well as aspects of skiing, mining, and Native American culture. This creative way to obscure renovation activity inside the buildings and brighten up blighted areas is one move toward neighborhood beautification. Click here for the full story.

Kingwood Receives WVDEP ‘Land Revitalization’ Award

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In May, the City of Kingwood received the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection’s Land Revitalization award for their robust recycling program. When the program was initiated, operations were constricted to the City Sanitary Sewer bed area. Program participation quickly increased, and operations outgrew the existing space. City leaders recognized a local abandoned warehouse to purchase as a dedicated recycling program building.

The Penmarva building, which previously housed a grocery wholesale company, was dilapidated and had been neglected since 2007. But the size and location made it ideal for recycling operations.

The new Kingwood Recycling Center, which is more accessible and customer friendly, opened for business in February 2016. Congratulations to the city of Kingwood! Click here for more information.

Who wants to be mayor of Richwood? Everybody.

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In total, 10 men are vying to be mayor of Richwood, a 2,000-person city in Nicholas County, which, like so many other West Virginia communities, is struggling with a declining population, major industries that peaked decades ago, and a deserted downtown.

This article highlights the type of challenges many small towns in West Virginia face when dealing with blight and abandoned buildings. Click here for the full story.

Vacant Home Tours Showcase Property Potential

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Wilkinsburg, PA, a community just outside Pittsburgh, is attempting to address blight by creating a tour of vacant homes to increase their appeal by explaining their history, suggesting potential reuses, and offering workshops about vacant property acquisition and property rehabilitation.

“We get a lot of complaints from residents…they want to know how they could go about acquiring the vacant home next door, or if it can be demolished, or what is available for people to deal with vacancy and blight in their neighborhood,” said Marlee Gallagher, co-coordinator of the tour.

Click here for the full story.

Peoria Art Students Use Blighted Buildings as Canvas

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High school students in Peoria, IL are painting boards to cover windows and doors of homes slated for demolition later in the year. Like many communities in West Virginia, Peoria has its share of problem neighborhoods, and the boarded-up homes add to the impact of blight. This project serves to brighten up communities and also engages students with the city’s efforts.

“We hope that the artwork will add some community pride to the neighborhood.”

Click here for the full story. 

Nominations Open for 2016 West Virginia Brownfield Awards

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Submit Your Nominations Now!

The West Virginia Brownfield Awards recognize the hard work and great achievements in brownfields redevelopment from across the state. These awards recognize individuals and communities who have made major contributions to the redevelopment of brownfields in West Virginia.

The West Virginia Brownfields Assistance Centers are currently accepting nominations for the 2016 West Virginia Brownfield Awards.

Award categories:
Economic Development
Community Engagement
Environmental Impact
Local Leadership
Redevelopment Partner
Brownfields Visionary

Award nomination deadline is June 30.

Award recipients will be announced at the 2016 #WVBrownfields Conference on September 7 in Charleston, WV.

For more information on the awards, contact wvredevelopment@mail.wvu.edu.

Click here for more information about the 2016 #WVBrownfields Conference, to register, and to consider becoming a sponsor or exhibitor.

New Cumberland Eyesores To Be Redeveloped

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New Cumberland, WV city officials recently presented a redevelopment plan that would impact the entire city. The plan included demolition of two buildings that have been vacant for more than 20 years. The buildings are located in the heart of the small downtown area, adjacent to the Graham/Staley Building, a key historic structure in the town’s most prominent intersection.

Community members recently participated in a visioning event where they brainstormed reuse plans on base maps of the area. Attendees decided to formalize as the River RATs (Redevelopment Action Team), and plan a follow-up meeting later in May.

“This is a combination of a lot of teamwork and hard work to start building a vision. We can start to dream tonight,” Mayor McNeil said.

Click here for the full story.