Thursday, October 13, 2005


CIVIC INVOLVEMENT: The Listening to the City project

Submitted Oct. 13, 2005 by
Steven Clift ( of Democracies Online

Listening to the City - Case Study

Executive Summary

In July 2002, The Civic Alliance to Rebuild Downtown New York,the
Port Authority of New York and New Jersey in association with non-
profits Web Lab and America Speaks created Listening to the City
Online Dialogues with a budget of $60,000. The dialogues focused on
two things; plans for redevelopment of the World Trade Center site
and the surrounding business district and neighbourhoods of Lower
Manhattan plus the creation of a permanent memorial for the victims
and heroes of 9/11.

The goal of the online discussions was to compliment the 5000 person-
to-person consultation and provide a means for citizens to have their
views heard and reflected in the decision-making process.During the
two-week discussion, 808 participants working in 26 parallel
discussion groups (half facilitated and half unfacilitated), posted
more than 10,000 messages and responded to 32 polling questions.
Listening to the City had an impact on guidelines for new designs,
the invitations to world-class architects to participate in a design
competition, and the final design. A final poll found that 84% of the
participants said they were satisfied with the dialogue and they
indicated the chance to “have their say” and the mix of “people and
perspectives” were the top reasons. Website:

The full case study:

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Steven L. Clift - - - W:
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