Project

Pittsburgh’s Excellence in Public Participation

We congratulate the City of Pittsburgh, the recipient of this year’s IAP2 Core Values Award for Organization of the Year. The City’s commitment to redefining what it means to make engagement accessible and equitable serves as an exemplary model in the field. Let’s explore their journey to EngagePGH.

Client
City of Pittsburgh
Location
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Goal
The City of Pittsburgh needed to create strategies to build equity and accessibility across their institution, creating a more consistent and trust-building public input experience for community members.
Key Project Highlights

Received input from over half of the City’s population

EngagePGH has received input from over half of the City’s population across more than 150 digital and hybrid projects, with a growing percentage of returning engagers.

2023 IAP2 Core Values Award Winner

The City of Pittsburgh is the proud recipient of this year’s IAP2 Core Values Award for Organization of the Year.

Embodiment of the IAP2’s Core Values

EngagePGH proves to be an embodiment of the IAP2 Core Values by prioritizing inclusivity, trust, transparency, equity and honest community involvement.

The Approach

Beginning in 2018, City staff worked with a group of 40 residents to create a Public Engagement Guide. The City created strategies to build equity and accessibility across their institution, creating a more consistent and trust-building public input experience for community members.

However, the 2018 work didn’t incorporate strategies for adapting to the online world. In 2020, the City invested in creating a digital engagement platform to bridge the digital divide in participation opportunities. Over the past three years, Pittsburgh has emphasized hybrid and continuous engagement strategies through EngagePGH.

This digital engagement platform is a one-stop-shop for residents and interested parties to share their opinions, access information, and actively participate in shaping their community’s policies, programs and initiatives. EngagePGH proves to be an embodiment of the IAP2 Core Values by prioritizing inclusivity, trust, transparency, equity and honest community involvement.

“EngagePGH is a resource I bring to every engagement, whether its in-person or online. Residents can see their voice reflected in the public record immediately and with no lag time – that has an enormous impact on my ability to build trust with and influence outcomes on behalf of the public.”

– Martina Battistone, Environmental Planner

The Result

EngagePGH has received input from over half of the City’s population across more than 150 digital and hybrid projects, with a growing percentage of returning engagers. Pittsburgh offers real-time participation opportunities, benefiting community members with limited access and City staff with limited capacity. Staff has used the tool to close the loop, showing clearly how input is used in decision-making processes and providing follow-ups. Pittsburgh’s transformative journey ultimately demonstrates an unwavering commitment to inclusive engagement and sets new industry standards for digital and hybrid public engagement. 

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