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C h a p t e r 6 Reaching Stakeholders Introduction Involving Stakeholders in Visioning Public engagement is a hallmark of visioning processes that use innovative techniques to build public awareness and Appropriate, effective outreach tools and techniques are key ownership in a process, to help stakeholders make informed to a successful visioning process, and opportunities for out- choices among alternative futures, and to engage a wide variety reach are present in all phases of the process. Visioning pro- of partners in vision development and vision implementation cesses are unique because of their relatively high level of activities. involvement and input from a range of stakeholders. These This chapter provides guidance on stakeholder involve- may include formal decision makers (e.g., public agencies), ment tools and techniques to be used in a visioning process. stakeholders typically involved in a planning process (e.g., Outreach methods used in transportation processes are drawn advocacy groups), as well as other members of the public not largely from urban planning and related fields, in which trans- traditionally involved (e.g., low-income, minority, or limited portation is usually a variable in a larger process. However, English proficiency groups). as visions are used more widely in transportation planning, Interactive aspects of public involvement are foundational agencies and practitioners are relying on new tools and tech- to a visioning process. In comparison to a public comment niques to engage participants. This research will help practi- period or publicly noticed open hearing, required by most tioners review emerging best practices and select appropriate planning processes, visioning processes tend to employ pro outreach tools to develop a vision, reach nontraditional stake- active outreach and interactive techniques to gather input. It holders, and leverage new technologies and resources. is this active engagement in contributing ideas, assessing alter- native futures, and registering opinions on outcomes that provides the basis for developing a shared vision for the future. Summary of Current Practices The SHRP 2 TCAPP Decision Guide framework identified Public involvement and partner outreach is a rapidly evolv- key attributes of collaborative decision making. These prin- ing field, and technical tools and nontraditional stakeholder ciples help ensure that decision making is collaborative and outreach methods continue to advance. Traditional tech- that participants support the ultimate outcomes of a process. niques are commonly used in visioning processes; how- These principles are particularly relevant to the interactive, ever, increasingly, efforts are focusing on applying technical, interdisciplinary approach of visioning: interactive scenario-planning support tools and software. Many of these new tools are developed specifically to facili- Informed participation ensures that traditional communi- tate visioning. cations tools and techniques provide opportunities for Literature addressing visioning and outreach was reviewed reactive input, and proactive or interactive planning tools to identify techniques that support a visioning process that that relate technical concepts help advance informed pub- facilitates collaborative decision making. Specifically, the team lic participation to greater levels. reviewed guidance documents, case studies, and syntheses Participant continuity refers to the role stakeholders and of practices; they are listed in Appendix D. The case studies public meetings have traditionally played in maintaining a conducted for this project were reviewed to identify those core group of interested parties. Visioning processes tend with effective outreach and participatory processes. to open up these core groups to ensure the continued 42