Building on the momentum generated by the introduction of regional scenario planning at their recent May 22nd breakfast, FOCUS continues to target public engagement with today’s launch of their new website and an exciting interactive regional modeling tool, The Quest.
“Our region’s planning efforts are still centered on data gathering and assessment,” said Adrienne Cox, project manager for FOCUS. “Technology is a key engagement vehicle for us. It allows us to reach so many more people from their desktops and mobile devices. Offering up new and interesting ways to reach local citizens is important. Broader participation ensures the ultimate outcome of regional planning accurately reflects the ideals of our area as a whole.”
The Quest interactive tool was specifically developed by FOCUS to provide visitors to their website with a hands-on experience in discovering the future – educating them on the various options for growing our region and showing them how their own personal preferences and values can shape the destiny of the area they live in.
Designed with the help of Urban Interactive Studio, a provider specializing in stakeholder and citizen engagement technology solutions for government administrations, planning agencies, businesses, and non-profit organizations, the new infographic-style webpage turns complex content into a fun, interactive experience – easy for anyone to explore and respond to on any device. Participants can play with regional planning scenarios, explore community tradeoffs, and offer feedback on what’s important to them.
“Public participation has been strong with other virtual planning concepts created by Urban Interactive for regions like Central Arkansas, Eastern Tennessee, and New Hampshire,” stated Cox. Our own team was totally intrigued by the experience. If that’s any indication, this tool is sure to capture the attention of anyone who explores it.”
With the release of The Quest, FOCUS has also revised its website to reflect it’s next phase of development. The new look and informational spotlights are intended to foster broader public discussion and participation. Visitors can access a variety of discussion forums, as well as The Quest, at www.FOCUSsenc.org.
The Quest will be available through the summer of 2014. FOCUS will then begin to analyze and share input received from participants in the fall of this year.