You’re Invited to the Listening and Learning Workshops

By October 2, 2019July 22nd, 2020News, News_CompPlan

We’re here to Listen! Join us at the Listening and Learning Workshops, ENGAGEDurham’s first community engagement event. As someone who lives, works, owns a business, goes to school or simply cares about the future of Durham, your opinions and ideas are valued. Bring your ideas to the workshops!


The City and County are beginning work on a new Comprehensive Plan – the community’s vision for shaping Durham’s future growth – and a new Transit Plan. We invite you to join us at the Listening and Learning Workshops, ENGAGEDurham’s first community engagement opportunity.

Five Listening and Learning Workshops (identical in format and content) are scheduled between November 14-19 in locations throughout the community. To begin, these workshops will include information to help you understand what a Comprehensive Plan is and does, how it’s relevant to you, and to provide an overview of the process. They will also provide an opportunity to provide input on the new Transit Plan. Then the majority of the session will create space for community members to share with each other and with City and County staff their experience of Durham today, in the past, and their hopes for our future. This input will shape our community’s vision for Durham’s future and will be the foundation for creating these new plans.

Each workshop is planned to last 2 hours. In addition, people are welcome to come up to 30 minutes before the scheduled meeting time. Folks that arrive early can talk with staff and to go through a background activity that sets out some information on Durham that relates to the comprehensive plan and transit plan.

Background Activity Description

This is a game that will provide information about our community, particularly around things that will be impacted by the comprehensive plan or the transit plan. You will move through a number of gallery boards meant to mimic moving through the community. At the first board you’ll choose a mode of travel at the imaginary transit hub where we’ll be asking folks to respond to the following:

  • I wish transit could…
  • I need transit for… and
  • Transit can help Durham by…

As you move from one board to the next you’ll go through a few scenarios that you might encounter in your daily life in Durham. As you move through these imaginary places you will encounter different situations which may impact how long it takes to get you to your final destination.

Workshop Description

The workshop will begin with a brief welcome and presentation. We aim to answer three questions with the presentation:

  • What is a Comprehensive Plan?
  • How does it impact my life? and
  • How will my input be incorporated into this process?

Following the presentation there will be small group discussions at each table around two questions:

  • What does your ideal Durham look like? and
  • What’s on your mind about Durham?

Each table will have a City or County staff person who will be responsible for making sure that everyone at the table gets a chance to share and that all comments and ideas are written down. The purpose of this discussion is to provide time for people to talk about what matters to them in the community right now – and to think about what you hope Durham will be like in the future. Responses to these questions will form the goals for the new comprehensive plan and transit plan.
At the end of the workshop we will explain the next steps in the process.

All workshops are identical so choose a two-hour event to attend that is most convenient for you. Doors open 30 minutes early. Each workshop will be about 2 hours long. Spanish interpretation, free child care and light refreshments will be provided.

If you’re passionate about shaping Durham’s future this is your chance for your voice to be an integral part of this process. Bring your ideas to the workshops!

Workshop Details:

Thursday, November 14 | 7-9pm
Hillside High School
3727 Fayetteville St
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parking and building entrances

Saturday, November 16 | 10am-12pm
Carrington Middle School
227 Milton Rd
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parking and building entrances

Sunday, November 17 | 3-5pm
Southern High School
800 Clayton Rd
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parking and building entrances

Monday, November 18 | 11am-1pm
Durham County Administration II Building
201 E Main Street
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parking and building entrances

Tuesday, November 19 | 7-9pm
Rogers-Herr Middle School
911 W Cornwallis Rd
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parking and building entrances

After the Listening and Learning Workshops we will continue to ask for input on these questions until the end of January 2020, both through the work of the Ambassadors and through an online survey with these same questions. We will organize the input received into common themes, or categories, and draft proposed comprehensive plan goals that reflect what we heard from the community in this first phase of engagement. The draft goals, along with all the input received, will be shared with the community in the next round of engagement in the spring of 2020. Through that next engagement effort, we will ask the community if we correctly captured what was shared through the Listening and Learning process, and for their feedback on the proposed goals. We will also share additional background information on the current status of various aspects of our community, such as housing, infrastructure, and transportation.

Don’t forget to RSVP (not required but will help us with planning the event).