Public Process Leadership in an Age of Distrust


The community contexts in which we work today are defined overwhelmingly by pervading public mistrust, conflict and controversy, and community opposition. Our urban crises – climate, housing, equitable development - are forcing quick action to avoid catastrophe. Controversy, community opposition and legal challenges pose significant and costly burdens to achieving our collective goals. This session will provide an overview of the key challenges in the field of public participation today. It will identify core components of healthy processes that can lead to more successful community outcomes with broad community support. The session will address technique selection, as well as tools, resources and networks where participants can develop skills in public participation. Hosted by Communities by Design (CxD).

Learning objectives

  • Describe key attributes of public participation what differentiates it from other tools, such as community engagement, community organizing, public relations and advocacy. 
  • Apply analysis to current practice barriers and their potential solutions. 
  • Apply strategies for increasing trust and collaboration with the public for more sustainable public process outcomes. 
  • Apply lessons learned from case studies. 

This session was recorded live on March 15, 2023.

This course is part of a series

User rating:
Average: 4 (2 votes)
 $45  non-member
 $30  member
1.00 LU
  • HSW


  • Joel Mills

    Senior Director, AIA Center for Communities by Design  |  The American Institute of Architects

    Joel Mills is Senior Director of the American Institute of Architects’ Center for Communities by...
  • Erin Simmons

    Senior Director of Design Assistance, Center for Communities by Design  |  The American Institute of Architects

    Erin Simmons is the Senior Director of Design Assistance at the Center for Communities by Design at...