Principal Investigator: Miriam Salerno
Rutgers-POET is continuing to work with North Jersey’s metropolitan planning organization to research, evaluate and deploy creative approaches to public involvement. Task work has included documenting the effectiveness of Together North Jersey’s public involvement strategies; preparation of a comprehensive literature review on public engagement; development of an online toolkit and public involvement database; extensive field research on public involvement, including conducting focus groups and structured expert interviews; providing on-call technical assistance to sub-regional and corridor studies on deployment of creative public involvement strategies. For the 2017 and 2021 Regional Transportation Plan updates, task work included deploying innovative strategies to engage hard-to-reach demographic groups, including young adults, children, low-income families and limited English proficient residents. Examples of innovative engagement undertaken include: pop-up activity booth reimagined as a radio studio for kids, a civic dinner party program called Set the Table! program to engage Millennials, a virtual art competition to solicit ideas form kids on the future of transportation, the launching of a young adult advisory group called UpNext North Jersey, and focus groups and interviews with vulnerable populations.