Now it's everyone's turn with online forum
The Newport Hills Shopping Center could be more successful if it drew more teenagers, because where teens go, their parents often must follow.
That's the thinking anyway from a group of Sammamish High School freshmen who recently presented urban planning ideas to Bellevue's Planning Commission. Starting Wednesday, residents and others will have a chance to share and vote on ideas for a better Bellevue.
With the Bellevue's Best Ideas forum, the city is taking crowdsourcing to a new level. In the early stages of an effort to update the Bellevue's bedrock document -- the comprehensive plan -- the city is using a website that allows people to post suggestions for how they would like to see the city develop over the next 20 years.
Now adults may not have the same priorities as the students in Sammamish High's AP Human Geography class, who favored "hipster" establishments over "mainstream" ones when they considered how to revitalize some shopping centers. But planners hope residents will feel free to express all kinds of ideas, no matter how unconventional.
Participants are eligible to win prizes, including gift certificates for the Crossroads Bellevue shopping center.
Ideascale, used by the White House as well as businesses and state and local governments, presents posted ideas. Visitors to the site can vote on whether they agree or disagree. Or they can post their own ideas. The ideas with the most "agree" votes will show up at the top.
"We're certainly making use of traditional means of engagement, including forums with the city's boards and commissions and presentations for residents," noted Planning and Community Development Director Chris Salomone. "In this day and age, it only makes sense to use social media to encourage participation too."
The city is giving the comprehensive plan a 10-year update, in a process expected to wind up next year with the City Council's approval of a new document that will guide development here through 2035.
The Best Ideas campaign will run from May 1 to July 4. All ideas submitted will be added as public comment in the comprehensive plan, and some may be included with amendments to the plan.
Comprehensive plan update
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