Using Focus Groups for Community Development

Paul Lachapelle, Community Development Specialist, and Tara Mastel, Community and Economic Development Agent

Why use Focus Groups?
A focus group provides insightful understanding of complex issues and situations which cannot be gathered from standard multiple choice surveys or large public meetings.  Focus groups provide an opportunity for individuals to express their views in detail, to hear the opinions of others and to collectively develop resolutions to problems.  Both technical and anecdotal information can be presented and debated which can

Charrette Use in the Planning Process

A charrette (often spelled charette and often called design charrette) is an urban planning technique for consulting with stakeholders and involving them in the physical design or planning of the community. Charrettes are typically intense, possibly multi-day, events involving municipal officials, developers, and local residents. A charrette promotes joint ownership of solutions to problems and attempts to diffuse traditional confrontation between residents, developers, and local government officials.

Design Charrette

A design charrette is an intense collaborative effort used to create …

Visual Preference Survey

A visual preference survey is one type of public opinion survey. All of the principles and protocols, as well as design, content, and documenting considerations, for a public opinion survey also apply to visual preference surveys. See the page on public opinion Survey.

A visual preference survey is the same as a regular public opinion survey except that the questions ask the respondents to evaluate photographs or drawings of various types and ways of development. Often each visual image is …

The Wexford County Example

This page presents a method, or procedure for planning which both incorporates the state-of-the-art for involving the public, and tools for public involvement management. This page follows the current research on public engagement. Particularly exciting are the reports from those communities using this system as to how smoothly and successfully their planning process was. This was also true with Wexford County –used as the pilot for this process, and reported here.

The basic process to develop a plan is …