Theses Master's

EnhanCE: Assessing the structure and efficacy of public-sector community engagement in New York City

Hsieh, Elaine

The purpose of this research is to contribute to a growing community of planners and active community members that believe in a future of fair, accessible, and empowering engagement. This research included questioning the role of planners and a stance on defining principles that should be recognized along with those currently recommended by the American Planning Association. The research is followed by a comparative analysis of the community engagement process of four case study projects in New York City, and is supported by additional in-depth discussion with planners and community organizations. Several implications were offered as a critique on the evaluation process of community engagement. First, despite having the necessary structures and democratic practices in place, the community engagement process of NYC is insufficient. Second, the time frame in which community engagement processes are open to the public limits the weight of community concerns in the decision-making process. Third, development projects often use tactics such as elongating processes which ultimately leads to community burnout and distrust in city governance. 

Geographic Areas


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Urban Planning
Thesis Advisors
Meisterlin, Leah M.
M.S., Columbia University
Published Here
July 14, 2021