Authors: Julia Mintz*,
Topics: Urban and Regional Planning, Urban Geography
Keywords: Urban planning, public participation, town-gown
Session Type: Poster
Start / End Time: 9:55 AM / 11:35 AM
Room: Lincoln 2, Marriott, Exhibition Level
Presentation File: Download
Public participation is integral to the urban planning process. Planning and community development may be the work of professional planners and consultants, but its purpose is to better the quality of life, and the health and safety of a community and its residents. Thus, public engagement should come in the form of public meetings, advisory groups, and even citizens’ research into current events and trends in their community. The functions and dynamics of public input have been heavily researched in academia; however, as every community is unique and complex, an important question arises: what specific factors within a community influence the nature and quality of its citizens’ participation in the planning process? This research answers this question among the student population of the State University of New York at Geneseo. A digital survey method was used to gather data on students’ knowledge of the planning field, their participatory experience, and the factors that influence these practices. Supplemental data was collected through interviewing local planning professionals. Preliminary survey data suggest that permanence of residency is a prominent influence on participation, which is problematic because of the transient nature of individual students. However, students, in general, are an important part of any college town, and should be involved in planning its future. This research provides valuable insight into the motivations for and influences on student engagement in planning, and provides a basis for strategizing how to improve student participation, and ultimately town-gown relations.