Information Gathering Tools

A purposeful walk about town, a walking audit, is a great way to get a first hand understanding of existing conditions and how the public makes use of existing infrastructure. Techniques like surveys and focus groups on the other hand can be a great addition to a public meeting type event.

Walking audits are tours taken by community residents and officials together with design consultants to visit proposed or actual project areas, impacted areas and affected properties. Frequently, this is the best way for a community stakeholder to demonstrate a physical fact to the design team, or to document details and conditions that might have been missed or were simply difficult to describe.

Surveys and focus groups are time-tested ways of collecting data on community perceptions, and are typically integrated into the preparations for a charrette, design workshop or town meeting. Options for surveys range from mailers to instruments like visual preference surveys where participants where participants pick their favorites from photos of similar completed projects. Focus groups are used to gain a deeper understanding of stakeholder concerns and typically involve between six to ten people who engage in an exploration of the design options with the assistance of a trained moderator.

Info Gathering

Online Survey Example