Deschutes 2040 Comprehensive Plan Wins ACE Award
MIG’s outreach and engagement work on the Deschutes County 2040 Comprehensive Plan won a 2023 Achievement in Community Engagement (ACE) Award: Project of Special Significance from the Oregon’s Citizen Involvement Advisory Committee. The ACE Award recognizes land use planning projects that support and expand best practices in community engagement.
Comprehensive plans direct city or county staff and decision makers on how they invest their money and time to achieve an area’s future vision and goals.
As the fastest growing county in Oregon, Deschutes County needed a comprehensive plan that would project it into the future and would set it up for success, while at the same time anticipate its rapidly changing needs.
This meant hitting the ground and hearing from wide array of community members. Especially those who don’t usually think about land use planning.
To ensure that community meetings were authentic and prodcutive, MIG staff trained County staff on techniques and best practices they can use to run meetings throughout the County. MIG developed a “meeting in a box” for staff with everything needed for small-scale engagement—a total of 50 meetings conducted by County staff.
During eight months, county staff used their engagement tools to reach county residents in both casual and more traditional settings. The project team behind this work used pioneering techniques and new technologies—including securing a grant to implement Consider.it, an online platform for stating not only your position on a spectrum (support through do not support) but also the reasons why.
Part of the success was identifying measures of success and auditing at several points during the engagement process. That allowed for pivots and ensuring the project was aligned with its goals.
Learn more at the Deschuttes Comprehensive Plan website.