With Metro’s Westside Subway Extension Project team just wrapping up a series of five public hearings on the project’s Draft EIS/R, it has a new feather to place in its cap.
The project’s public outreach program was this week officially recognized as an example of government innovation from Harvard University. Read the press release here.
Metro was one of 173 government programs nationwide selected for the new “Bright Ideas” program designed to recognize and share creative government initiatives around the country. More than 600 applications were received.
Harvard recognized the subway project for its use of new communication tools integrated with long-standing outreach strategies, to bring greater numbers of people into the planning process during the Draft EIS/R currently underway and the earlier Alternatives Analysis Study.
In the face of a shrinking media market — and less media interest in the subway — the project team was the first at Metro to amplify its outreach with new media strategies such as using blogs, online publications, social networking tools like Facebook (1,700+ fans) and Twitter, and live web streaming of community meetings. The webstream of two of the recent public hearings here.
The project’s outreach program will be showcased on the Center’s Government Innovators Network, an online marketplace of ideas and examples of government innovation for policymakers and practitioners.