Under construction: A wide open community input process

6Z8C4055Blog posts, news stories, posters and coffee-shop conversation.

There’s no one best way to spread the word about DMC and to gather community input for the 20-year DMC development plan. That’s why DMC leaders have asked 80 community volunteers to help design the process so input comes from all corners of the community.

Check out this story from the Rochester Post Bulletin, Jan. 17, on their work: DMC subgroups working toward February forum.

The group, which includes sports enthusiasts, hospitality workers, business owners, research administrators and local government representatives, has met three times since early December. They are building roadmaps for community input in eight core areas identified as the foundation of a vital downtown Rochester: Arts and Culture/Civic/Entertainment; Commercial Research and Technology; Health and Wellness; Hospitality/Conventions; Learning Environment; Livable City/Retail/Dining; Sports, Recreation and Nature; and Transportation.


Heidi Mestad, who’s managing the community engagement process, says their work in each of these areas is fourfold:

Inventory what planning has been done. The DMC initiative has been a catalyst to review or jump-start other community planning.

Identify the conversation topics: The volunteers have been defining the core areas and how community input discussions will be framed around each topic.

Give input on the logistics: What’s the best place for community meetings? Best time of day?  How else could citizens share ideas?

Help to communicate the process.  Of course, blog posts, news coverage, and many other outreach efforts will be used to publicize opportunities to get involved. The groundwork now underway will help ensure that individuals and organizations throughout the community know their input is welcome and valued.

“There will be large and small ways for people to join in and share ideas,” says Mestad. “Anybody and everybody can participate.”

The first input gathering events are expected to be held in late February.