Go Vocal case studies: Community engagement success stories

500+ local governments and organizations trust Go Vocal with their community engagement. Explore our case studies to discover insights and best practices from successful initiatives leveraging our digital platform. Enhance your participation projects by learning from the experiences of fellow engagement practitioners.

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Seattle, WA
Population:
750,000

Putting inclusion at the heart of Seattle's comprehensive plan

By definition, comprehensive plans are complex, long-range, and broad in scope. The planning and engagement processes for these plans often take over two years to complete. This can make it difficult to establish and maintain meaningful engagement with community members throughout the process. Using CitizenLab’s user-friendly and accessible online engagement platform, the City of Seattle’s Office of Planning and Community Development (OPCD) reached thousands of residents in their planning process over 2022, all while supporting their goal for inclusive and equitable engagement.

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Lancaster, PA
Population:
553,000

How Lancaster (PA) combines offline and online community engagement

How do you cross the digital divide and blend online and offline (traditional) community engagement? What about during a pandemic? The City of Lancaster used online, offline, and blended approaches to ensure their diverse population was well represented in the City’s new engagement initiatives, which ranged from policing to mobility planning.

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Carlisle, PA
Population:
38,000

Carlisle develops an engagement platform to revamp public spaces

Executive Summary: Looking to create a more official and consolidated platform that allowed for additional oversight and increased transparency in government operations, such as the redesign of public spaces, the Carlisle team began looking at community engagement platforms. In mid-2021, they launched a CitizenLab platform and set out to generate ideas about how to use their new public spaces and what they should look like.

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Vienna, Austria
Population:
2,890,000

Vienna's Climate Team: award-winning hybrid engagement project

The climate crisis is forcing governments around the globe to reassess and change direction. Vienna, the capital of Austria, is no exception. The city – famous for its baroque streetscapes and imperial palaces – aims to be climate-neutral by 2040 and is therefore prioritizing climate and sustainability projects. Since 2022, the Vienna Climate Team has been actively engaging residents in a collaborative and inclusive effort to shape a sustainable climate future together. Let’s explore what their participation project has achieved to this day!

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Wichita, KS
Population:
400,000

How Wichita used public participation to address affordable housing issues

Across the United States, affordable housing has become a top priority for local governments as the housing crisis continues to place economic and social strain on communities. With the infusion of funding from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), Wichita, Kansas – which has a population of about 400,000 – jumped at the opportunity to address housing issues in their city through public participation.

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Multiple cities
Population:

Participatory budgeting in 3 case studies

Participatory budgeting is one of the most popular forms of citizen consultation. More than just a buzzword, the tool is used by elected officials who want to make public governance more accessible and transparent. Far from applying a generic formula, each community creates its own process based on its own reality.

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Lancaster, PA
Population:
553,000

How Lancaster, PA is improving their stormwater management

Localized flooding and poor stormwater drainage can significantly disrupt communities, causing problems from road and property damage to safety issues due to hydroplaning. In a city like Lancaster, stormwater management is particularly important as they run on a combined sewer system, meaning it collects and transports both domestic sewage and rainwater from the City’s storm drains into a single system of pipes – meaning, these pipes have a lot of work to do! As part of their collaboration with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on their larger Green Infrastructure project, the City of Lancaster is seeking to improve their community’s stormwater management quality.

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Norwich, CT
Population:
213,200

Norwich and local community organization team up to engage city

Here at CitizenLab, we love to celebrate the successes of our clients. With so many incredible community development and engagement projects taking place on our platform across the world, we hope to record some best practices and share them with local governments to encourage peer learning and inspiration.

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Struthers, OH
Population:
10,000

How Struthers engaged with youth and seniors in city plan

“The people are listening.” Creating a city’s inaugural comprehensive plan is a daunting task. Comprehensive planning requires the collaboration of a wide variety of community stakeholders, and affects every resident in a community. Seeking to craft a vision for a revitalized Struthers, local officials in the city’s planning department and their partner Samantha Yannucci (Director of Planning and Community Development of KO Consulting of Ombud) have been working hard to ensure that this plan is inclusive and representative of their entire community by going directly to their residents with a range of innovative methods.

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Philadelphia, PA
Population:
6,245,000

How community engagement reimagined public spaces in Philadelphia

From urgent calls for racial justice in public spaces to the recovery of small businesses in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s obvious that urban main streets face unique economic and social challenges. Against this backdrop, cities across the country have been piloting new approaches to people-centered main streets.

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Linz, Austria
Population:
203.000

Case Study: Citizen Proposals in Linz

Linz (204,846 inhabitants), Austria’s third-biggest city, is known for its baroque architecture, its museums, its centre for electronic arts… and its actions in digital democracy. In 2019, the city launched a new participation platform to widen the scope of public engagement, allowing citizens to participate on any topic, from anywhere, at any time.

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Multiple cities
Population:

INJUV empowers 28,250 millennials to discuss sustainable development ideas for Chile

INJUV, Chile’s National Youth Institute, is a public institution that collaborates with the government in designing policies related to youth affairs. To give millennials across the country the chance to voice their ideas on local community development, INJUV launched an online platform in the winter of 2019.

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Grand Paris Sud, France
Population:
346.826

Case Study: all eyes on the climate in Grand Paris Sud

Grand Paris Sud (346.826 inhabitants), an intercommunal structure south of Paris, decided to pull up its sleeves and work towards progress. In the spirit of democracy, they chose to seek the opinions of those who know best: the citizens.

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Leuven, Belgium
Population:
101,000

Over 3,000 residents contribute to Leuven's multi-annual plan

The Flemish city of Leuven (101,000 inhabitants) has made the leap towards citizen participation! During this first project on the city’s strategic planning, over 3,000 inhabitants raised their voices.

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Ghent, Belgium
Population:
260,000

Community Panels & Budgets: Ghent's Participatory Budgeting Project

Ghent, known for its beautiful market squares and stunning medieval city center, is the capital of the Belgian province of East-Flanders. With more than 260,000 inhabitants, Ghent charmingly combines the hustle and bustle of a bigger city with a small town’s cozy atmosphere.

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Newham, UK
Population:
300,000

How the London Borough of Newham used community assemblies

With around 300,000 residents, Newham is one of the biggest and most diverse boroughs in London, so it should be no surprise that it’s not new to community engagement. In fact, Newham’s recent leadership has prioritized involving residents and creating a more participatory democracy, including via a dedicated Resident Engagement and Participation team.

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Cambridge, UK
Population:
145,700

Cambridge City Council analyzes input 50% faster with Go Vocal's AI assistant

Cambridge experienced first-hand the power of Go Vocal's AI assistant in the analysis of open-ended text responses during their Design Code consultation for northern Cambridge neighborhoods. Discover how it helped the team save 10 precious hours and opened the door for including more free-text questions in future consultations, enriching the depth and quality of community engagement.

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St. Louis, MO
Population:
318,172

St. Louis collects and analyzes ideas from 7,000+ residents on allocating settlement funds to shape resident-driven change

Faced with the daunting task of allocating $250 million as part of the Rams settlement fund, the City of St. Louis and the Board of Aldermen embarked on an ambitious digital community engagement strategy to involve residents in the fund allocation process from the start.

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Copenhagen, Denmark
Population:
647,509

How Copenhagen got 12,000 residents to participate in large-scale Proposals project in just 4 months

In August 2023, the City of Copenhagen took a bold step forward on their participatory democracy journey with a new community engagement initiative: encouraging residents to submit proposals for city improvement projects.

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City of Allen, TX
Population:
106,000

A deep-dive into Allen, TX’s engagement success

Do you have a small team dedicated to community engagement efforts? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. The City of Allen has demonstrated how a small team can achieve excellent results by fostering widespread support throughout the organization and crafting a robust engagement strategy, strongly facilitated by its online community engagement platform.

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Newham, UK
Population:
300,000

Lessons learned from Newham's participatory budget program

Newham recently evaluated their Community Assemblies initiative, now known as People Powered Places. This article outlines a summary of the report’s key insights and ideas for future improvement. Read on to kindle fresh ideas for invigorating engagement within your own community!

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