CONGRATULATIONS TO THE WINNERS OF THE 2015 IAP2 USA CORE VALUES AWARDS!
Two projects which broke new ground in public participation carried off the honors at the 2015 IAP2 USA Core Values Awards in September. These projects are prime examples of what P2 can do – and, we hope, can inspire you to look not just for solutions to your own P2 challenges, but to strive for award-winning solutions in the process.
Oregon Metro – the only directly-elected regional government in the USA – won Project of the Year for the Powell – Division Transit and Development Project. This partnership with the cities of Portland and Gresham, Oregon’s largest and fourth-largest cities, respectively, needed a wide range of consultation methods in order to reach out to a widely diverse community. This 15-mile corridor covers a number of neighborhoods with a high proportion of immigrants.
Metro understood that there was a considerable level of mistrust and skepticism that had to be overcome, and the consultations involved online, face-to-face and single-question mini-surveys, among other things, to reach out to the community.
At various times, the consultations were done in Spanish, Russian, Chinese and Vietnamese; even Bhutanese and Tongan, to ensure as much of the community was involved as possible. The result has been broad support for the development project itself, and many of the approaches have been included in Metro’s Public Engagement Guide.
The St. Vrain Valley Public School District, based in Longmont, Colorado, received the award for Organization of the Year for Embracing Public Participation. In this, parents and others not generally considered to be “experts” or “professionals” in education are included in the School District’s planning and development process. This had to overcome internal and external resistance: from “legacy” staff, who were averse to including these non-professionals in the process, and from citizens who, as in the Portland area, were skeptical and distrustful of the authority itself.
This was the second win in as many years for St. Vrain Valley Schools: the district won the 2014 Research Project of the Year for “Leadership St. Vrain”, which was the precursor to this year’s award-winning effort.
Both St. Vrain Valley Schools and Oregon Metro will now compete against award winners from other IAP2 Affiliates. Those awards will be announced at the IAP2 Australasian Conference, happening this month in Perth, Western Australia.
IAP2 Canada presented awards in five categories:
Project of the Year – Pikangikum First Nation (Reservation) in Northwestern Ontario and Beringia Community Planning, for “Working It Out Together”, which addressed some serious mental-health issues with a community-based approach.
Organization of the Year – The City of Victoria, BC, for “Foundations for Success”, an effort to ensure citizens are included in all of the city’s processes. Honorable Mention went to the City of Vancouver, BC, for the “Engaged City Task Force”.
IAP2 Canada also presented Project Awards, from which the overall Project of the Year was selected:
Advancing the Practice through Creativity, Contribution and Innovation in the Field – City of Calgary, Alberta, for “Action Plan 2015-2018”. Honorable Mention went to the City of Edmonton, for “What the B*ke!”
P2 for the Greater Good – to the Hawkwood Community Association in Calgary and Forum Stakeholder Relations, for “Our Hawkwood”, a locally-developed neighborhood plan.
Indigenous Engagement – to the Pikangikum First Nation.
You can learn more about the USA award winners here, and the Canadian award winners here. We encourage you to study the entries and also the criteria for Research Project of the Year, so that you can model your upcoming P2 processes with the 2016 Core Values Awards in mind. You could find yourself on the stage, hearing the applause and receiving the hardware, at next year’s Conference in Montréal!