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Congratulations to Victor Tran, the first recipient of the IAP2 USA Scholarship!

May 30, 2017 Leave a comment

Tran Victor quote

Victor Tran is currently in his first year of Portland State University’s Master of Urban and Regional Planning program. Motivated by his own family’s story of immigration to Alberta, Canada where he grew up, Victor was eager to learn more about how urban spaces can help reduce real and perceived barriers for different groups of people. How, in fact, the physical design of environments has direct outcomes on the health, sustainability, and overall quality of life for people.

Victor heard inklings of IAP2 when he was working with a business improvement district in Calgary, but as he dove into his planning studies this winter, IAP2’s connection with what he was learning and the work he hopes to do some day clicked. He joined the IAP2 Cascade Chapter and has been an active member since. He also looked around the PSU campus for opportunities to combine his passion for shaping the built environment and public engagement. What he found was a two-day intensive Public Interest Design (PID) course presented by Design Corps, the SEED Network, and the Center for Public Interest Design.

In order to make this happen, Victor sent in an application for the IAP2 USA scholarship in which he described his passion for public participation and the nexus between the goals of IAP2 and the endeavors of PID. The application evaluation panel called his narrative “a story of passion and commitment” said that his “resume shows growth in positions that he has taken starting from university level sustainability research, to designing education spaces [that] enmesh social justice and sustainability practices for youth… [and] most recently doing the leg work for two small community projects. This growth shows initiative, motivation, and passion.”

In April 2017, Victor attended the PID workshop and learned about all the ways in which design can “serve more than just an aesthetic purpose.” The workshop covered a wide scope of projects that demonstrate a truth that often gets missed: planning anything, whether it’s a park or a recycling facility or the place where the planning workshop is happening is a deeply personal endeavor. And it should be. These plans become physical environments that people interact with every day, and their “design should serve public interest.” Victor knows that what he learns through IAP2 can provide him with a wide variety of “tools for informing design strategies” and determining “how to measure and implement good public participation.”

“P2 is a form of democratizing the system so that ‘professionals’ can level the field and understand the people they’re serving. The goal is to remove as many layers of assumptions and biases as possible.”

Victor looks forward to challenging institutions that don’t do any P2 to really think about how their work is being done and the benefits their work is providing. He hopes that he can get them to think critically about how P2 could be integrated, how their constituency would be impacted by more P2, and what kinds of P2 would be possible. That being said, Victor thinks it’s “healthy to recognize that there’s rarely full consensus since everyone comes in the room with their own preferences and biases.” What’s most important is to “take time to listen and appreciate where everyone is coming from.” To him, “good P2 is being able to extend the conversation beyond the single event.”

Victor says the scholarship was a great opportunity and he is grateful to be able to participate. He enjoyed speaking with the panelists, and learned a lot from each panelists unique background and how they were personally involved with IAP2. He is happy to be able to stay connected with IAP2 panelists who are currently in Portland. He hopes to increase his engagement with IAP2 as time goes on. “The scholarship was a great launch into that world, and I have no doubt there are many more great resources that IAP2 has to provide.”

You Spoke, We’re Listening

May 30, 2017 Leave a comment

LeahJaramillo - presMessage sqIn March 2017, IAP2 USA conducted a membership survey asking you questions about the services and programs we offer now, how you’d like to see those services and programs progress in the future, the challenges and needs facing P2, and the role of IAP2 in addressing them. We received 173 responses, a 16% member response rate. We’d like to take this opportunity to thank you for your participation and provide you with the highlights of the findings. The full report is available below!

People are increasingly satisfied with their IAP2 USA membership.

There’s good news- members satisfaction has increased since the last survey in 2014. A full 66% of respondents said they were either very satisfied or satisfied with their IAP2 USA membership. This is an increase of seven points from 2014! Additionally, we know satisfaction is growing because the percentage of people who said they were very satisfied more than quintupled. The number of people who said they were dissatisfied decreased as well. However, IAP2 USA remains aware that 30% said they were not sure how satisfied they are with their membership. Based on the results of the survey, IAP2 USA has identified three areas that are clearly important to members and in which there is room for continued growth: community, tools and techniques, and the role of IAP2.

MemRepQ1

IAP2 USA Membership Overall Satisfaction

IAP2 USA Membership Overall Satisfaction

COMMUNITY

Survey respondents want to connect on a local level. Being able to connect with one another was what they reported as the primary benefit of their membership. This was particularly relevant for people who didn’t have a chapter near them or felt their chapter was inactive. As a result, IAP2 USA will pursue the following strategies to build community.

Looking Forward

IAP2 USA is currently working on the following initiatives:

Support local chapters so that practitioners can more readily engage at the local level.        

  • Conduct interviews with chapter committee members to understand what works for them and what doesn’t. What challenges are they facing?
  • Find out where the chapter gaps exist. Where do we have a critical mass of members but no chapter. What can we do to mitigate the distance for members located in more rural areas?
  • Create a chapter in a box, so that starting a chapter is easy and clear.

Continue to engage members through all media

  • Rebranding the website and other communication materials
  • Update design to the newsletter
  • Continue to utilize social media strategically. More consistent engagement in posts may be a way to increase participation through this media.
    • Promoting IAP2 hashtags
    • Supporting member projects and cross-posting

TOOLS & TECHNIQUES

Respondents were greatly in favor of having access to new tools and techniques. They want to hear about what other people have tried, what works in certain situations, and what’s on the cutting edge of the P2 practice. Specifically, respondents said in program-related questions that they would like for there to be more tangible take-aways. Responses also indicated that there is a need for a wider range of services, from beginner to advanced. Some of the new members said that they were not aware of what was available to them, which was why they had not yet participated. IAP2 is looking to address these desires as described below.

Looking Forward

Make sure members are walking away with something when they attend a program. Members are using their most valuable resource when they participate, their time, and we should make sure they are getting something tangible.

  • Work with webinar presenters to decide on a main take away, which will help in the promotion of that event
  • Make sure that member spotlights provide some form of advice or lesson learned
  • Create regularly occurring takeaways that are featured in the newsletter, website, and/or blog. Examples might include:
    • Have You Tried This? – a feature for a new tool
    • DIY- when presenting a toolkit or guide to P2 strategies
    • Out of the Box- a feature about an unusual P2 strategy that worked
    • Bright Ideas- a feature on new research in P2

Ensure that programs accommodate a variety of skill levels.

  • Provide some programs that are for advanced P2 practitioners only
  • Provide a starter kit for people who are new to IAP2 USA, so that they know what is available to them and the value of these programs

THE ROLE OF IAP2

When asked what role IAP2 USA should play in advancing the practice of good P2, most respondents said that IAP2 USA should be at the forefront, leading the way. IAP2 USA is perceived as a force with the ability to unify and address some of the more difficult issues of our time. However, respondents were concerned about the lack of recognition of P2 as a profession  and the extent to which officials and managers undervalue it. One of the main reason respondents said that they were not getting the professional certification was that its value is not recognized in their field.

Looking Forward

IAP2 USA is already working on tactics to:

Work to grow the recognition of IAP2 USA in general and the Professional Certification in particular.

  • Partner with other organizations that have a stake in and need for good P2. If they have certifications, make IAP2 USA trainings eligible for credit towards their continuing education.
  • Promote Professional Certification
  • Provide shorter refresher courses so that certified members can stay up-to-date

Continue to be a leader in P2 and grow recognition of members.

  • Continue to provide the IAP2 USA community with resources to help them be the best P2 practitioners they can be at home
  • Continue with program to recognize members who reach certain year benchmarks
  • Create some IAP2 USA merchandise for members so they can show their affiliation

 

Categories: Press Release Tags: ,

Core Values Awards Update– Review Underway

June 26, 2014 Leave a comment

Core Value Awards Update– Review Underway

The 2014 Core Value Awards are in full swing, with submittals under review and announcements of winners to be made in Winnipeg at the IAP2 North America Conference Core Values Awards Gala, September 30, 2014. Three categories of awards are under review: project of the year; organization of the year; and research.

Our judging panel includes seasoned practitioners with many years of experience and research expertise. They bring great wisdom and insight to this volunteer work. We are appreciative of the hours of service by: Dr. Jim Creighton, Mike Huggins, Lewis Michelson, Joel Mills, and Dr. Marty Rozelle,

The tradition of Core Value Awards is an opportunity to highlight the leading work in the field. Applicants assess their efforts along each of the seven IAP2 core values, indicating how their project, organization or research meets these standards. As noted by IAP2 International, the Core Values were developed to “identify those aspects of public participation which cross national, cultural, and religious boundaries.”

Winners of the IAP2-USA awards are entered into the competition for the IAP2 International awards.

 

Core Values for the Practice of Public Participation

  1. Public participation is based on the belief that those who are affected by a decision have a right to be involved in the decision-making process.

 

  1. Public participation includes the promise that the public’s contribution will influence the decision.

 

  1. Public participation promotes sustainable decisions by recognizing and communicating the needs and interests of all participants, including decision makers.

 

  1. Public participation seeks out and facilitates the involvement of those potentially affected by or interested in a decision.

 

  1. Public participation seeks input from participants in designing how they participate.

 

  1. Public participation provides participants with the information they need to participate in a meaningful way.

 

Public participation communicates to participants how their input affected the decision.