On November 14, 16, 17, 18 and 19, over 350 community members attended Listening and Learning Workshops held in various locations throughout the community. This was the first part of the ENGAGEDurham process to update the Comprehensive and Transit Plans. It was an opportunity for people to talk about what matters to them in the community – and to think about what they hope Durham will be like in the future.
After a brief background presentation, the Workshops focused on small group discussions around two questions, “What does an ideal Durham look like to you?” and “What else is on your mind about Durham?”
City and County staff were at each table to listen to community members and record the ideas and questions they shared. The thoughts and ideas we hear from the community will form the goals of the new Comprehensive Plan and the new Transit Plan. In the next phase, Planning staff will present back to the community what we think we heard and ask for additional input. This communication loop will continue through the entire process. The next engagement phase is planned for February 2020 for the transit plan and for April 2020 for the Comprehensive Plan.
At the end of each workshop, Staff asked workshop participants to fill out an exit questionnaire. The questions asked how staff can improve community engagement efforts going forward and basic demographic information. The demographic information will be compared to overall data for Durham to figure out what groups in the community were not able to participate. This information will inform our work with Engagement Ambassadors – stipend community members who will bring small group input opportunities specifically to underrepresented groups in the community. This is an important part of our work toward equitable engagement and making sure all voices in Durham are heard.