Regional + City Planning students from “Community Development and Revitalization” with Dr. John Harris and “Planning with Diverse Communities” with Dr. C. Aujean Lee recently presented to the Tulsa Planning Office and Riverwood Neighborhood stakeholders about community engagement techniques.
The Tulsa Planning Office requested help from the Institute of Quality Communities (IQC) to assist with their work to bring together key partners to understand resident challenges in the Riverwood Neighborhood area. This neighborhood is currently experiencing concentrated poverty and challenges of food access, housing security, and employment stability.
In order to better understand the challenges faced in Riverwood as well as determine the best way to engage with the community, the IQC suggested creating a set of best practices for community engagement and community organizing. This project was then incorporated into the Regional + City Planning Courses with Dr. Harris and Dr. Lee for the Spring 2022 semester.
Recently, on a Zoom call with the Tulsa Planning Office and Riverwood stakeholders, students presented their overview of best practices in community engagement and organization. They reviewed the different aspects of public engagement, including specific challenges for residents in multi-family units and public housing as well as best practices for engaging with businesses and anchor institutions. They also discussed the role of trusted advocates in community engagement and presented the results of their virtual canvassing campaign.
After receiving feedback on the students’ findings from the Tulsa Planning Office and Riverwood stakeholders, the Institute for Quality Communities will develop a final report that will present a set of best practices for community engagement and organizing in the Riverwood area.