FHI does not anticipate a formal “one size fits all” public meeting as part of the Plan development effort. Smaller-scale, targeted meetings will be the most effective conduit for facilitating conversation and informative feedback.
The FHI Team will work with the City to identify and reach out to key neighborhood associations and groups to provide information about the plan and gather input. FHI has found an effective approach is to ask to be added to the agenda of regularly scheduled neighborhood association meetings when and where participants typically meet. Incorporating input from these meetings into study alternatives development shows the value of participation to the public, fostering further collaboration and consensus for project outcomes. It is envisioned a meeting be conducted with each of Bridgeport’s active neighborhood associations or NRZ’s.
FHI will conduct up to six (6) pop-up events as a complement to the more formal neighborhood meetings. The FHI Team will engage people at local events, thereby making it more convenient to participate. For each meeting, two (2) FHI staff will attend the event and provide opportunities for providing feedback via comment sheets, recorded video, on-line surveys via QR codes and/or iPad apps. Additionally, FHI staff will promote upcoming events related to the Plan and help to educate visitors to the event about the Plan.
Virtual public meetings
Virtual workshops describe a wide variety of online participation events that either recreate the participation opportunities available at in-person meetings or offer stand-alone tools for the public to provide online input from the convenience of their home, library computer, or smart phone. The events will be posted online for a set duration and allow participants to engage with the site at their convenience any time of day or night. FHI will build interactive tools that would recreate visual preference boards or voting-with-dots exercises employed at in-person meetings. We will build interactive video tools for use in a virtual workshop wherein an educational video would be accompanied by question prompts or exercises at relevant moments in the video. Custom-built virtual workshops offer highly flexible tools that allow the Project Team to ask relevant questions in a useful and efficient format.
The FHI Team recently developed two virtual public meetings for a statewide bus study in Connecticut; more than 500 responses were received on each survey from members of the public across the state.
During the course of the study, the FHI Team and City may identify a specific focus topic requiring a meeting. Technical experts would be invited to this working group meeting to provide expert input on the topic. Potential topics may include housing, mobility, historic preservation, urban farming, etc. It is anticipated up to four (4) thematic meetings be conducted during the process.
Interviews & Focus Meetings
The FHI team will conduct interviews with key stakeholder groups and thought leaders. Stakeholder interviews will allow the project team to talk directly with stakeholders with targeted interests and perspectives to better understand and address the needs of the local community. FHI will work with the City to identify and invite stakeholder groups as well as develop guided questions for discussion purposes. It is anticipated up to six (6) interviews/focus meetings.
FHI will develop a school-based learning toolkit, appropriate for middle school-aged students to learn about the Plan and provide their comments and feedback on issues in Bridgeport. FHI will conduct up to three (3) learning events at Bridgeport schools. Additionally, FHI will develop material for distribution and education for teachers to further promote the Plan effort in other schools.
Traditional Public MeetingS
FHI will not conduct a formal “one size fits all” public meeting as part of the Plan development effort. The City will conduct the public hearing process independent of FHI.