WASHINGTON- A new report from the National League of Cities (NLC) released this week highlights effective community engagement efforts in 14 communities across the United States. The case studies-which focus closely on innovative work in Detroit, Philadelphia, Chicago, and Austin-show new pockets of civic energy emerging in different sectors. The report, Bright Spots in Community Engagement: Case Studies of U.S. Communities Creating Greater Civic Participation from the Bottom Up, was produced in partnership with the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.
"The examples showcased in this new report indicate that civic engagement is alive and well in cities and towns throughout the United States," said NLC President Marie Lopez Rogers, mayor, Avondale, AZ. "From Detroit to Austin these success stories indicate that by creatively reaching out to untapped resources and using new engagement tactics, communities can become more inclusive and more innovative."
The report features the diverse forms of engagement that are gaining traction in communities across the country, including the use of open data, participatory budgeting with public funds, city-wide strategic planning, and community-based funding initiatives. Findings also revealed that sustained engagement translate into economic gains for communities.
Additional notable results from the report include:
• A diversity of networks and representatives from all parts of the community provides greater benefits to community well-being.
• Drawing a larger and more diverse range of engaged citizens into community participation requires new tools and strategies, particularly technology tools.
• Effective community engagement efforts can change policy and reconcile community divisions.
• Community engagement generates opportunity by creating networks of individuals, organizations and institutions committed to development and sustainability.
The full report can be accessed at: http://www.nlc.org/Documents/Find%20City%20Solutions/Research%20Innovation/Governance-Civic/BrightSpots-FINAL_4-26.pdf
The National League of Cities is dedicated to helping city leaders build better communities. NLC is a resource and advocate for 19,000 cities, towns and villages, representing more than 218 million Americans.