Last week, lessons from Davidson, North Carolina and other communities were shared at the 2021 North Carolina Planning Conference sponsored by the North Carolina Chapter of the American Planning Association (APA-NC). The session, titled “The Power of Public Engagement,” included speakers Leigh Anne King of Clarion Associates and Trey Akers from the Town of Davidson, who shared highlights from the What’s Next? comprehensive planning process for Davidson. The presentation marked one year since the town of Davidson, North Carolina, was recognized by APA-NC with a Marvin Collins Planning Award, Comprehensive Plan/Small Community.
Planning NEXT was proud to facilitate the public engagement effort for What’s Next?, which was led by Clarion. Located in a high-growth area near Charlotte, the town was focused on planning for the future while preserving its special qualities. From visiting farmers markets and athletic events to managing a community survey that was completed by nearly 650 community members, Planning NEXT worked closely with the planning team and partners to ensure that community insight would help to guide planning work.
Awards are valuable as an acknowledgement of a community’s success, and we’re honored to be associated with such exceptional work. But even more important is seeing how a robust and equitable public engagement can have lasting impacts—and lessons for others—one year, five years, even twenty years after a plan is completed.