The community of Bethany conducted concept and comprehensive community planning for three reasons: 1. To meet various applicable state, regional, county and community planning objectives. 2. To identify necessary urban infrastructure requirements, and 3. To ensure that provisions for such infrastructure to serve the greater North Bethany area are fully in place before development begins. Public involvement has been a fundamental part of the planning process to facilitate an exchange of information and build awareness.
As of 2010, Portsmouth, New Hampshire (population 20,000) has sustained the practice of organized, public dialogue and deliberation for over ten years. Since 1999, diverse community groups in Portsmouth have organized at least six rounds of large-scale dialogue-to-action circles (study circles) initiatives. This case study provides brief descriptions of four of these initiatives from 1999 through 2004. Descriptions of Portsmouth’s later public engagement initiatives will be added to this entry at a later date, or posted as separate entries.
Burning Man is an annual artistic festival which is held in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert and whose central premise involves extensive community participation. Far from being a standard art festival, Burning Man embraces the idea of radical inclusion and aims to instill a set of core values in its many participants. In order to achieve this objective, the week-long event features a variety of fascinating participatory frameworks, from consensus decision-making and a culture of volunteerism to interactive artwork and even the collaborative construction of a city!