Soliciting public participation in planning can be difficult. How do you get people interested in planning issues? How do you get more people to show up to charettes? When such a small percentage of community members voice their opinions in public forums, how can you guarantee that you have surveyed public opinion?
For the West Market Neighborhood Redevelopment Plan, Interboro produced postcards that invite community members to caption pictures of various aspects of their neighborhood. By leaving these postage paid, self-addressed postcards in bars, hair salons, and delis, Interboro’s hope is that people will find it very easy to caption them and drop them in the mailbox (or even leave it with the establishment’s proprietor). The captions—which we assume will evidence a different lens on the neighborhood than the one we see the neighborhood through—will be used to discern how people see the world around them.
You can see the postcards here. Could this be a simple, effective way to solicit increased public participation?