Portland, Oregon does nothing half-heartedly. As is the case with the city’s newly spearheaded 25-year master plan. In true Portland fashion, this master plan has dreams of grandeur; of a thriving and sustainable city where all citizens are prosperous, healthy and educated. While I’m sure all cities want the same for their residents, we can’t help but have faith in Portland’s gumption. Their strategy is admirable as well. Because they believe “more voices means better choices”; Portland is taking it to the people.
The 25-year Portland Plan is hoping to entice people to join in the conversation through Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. The Portland Plan (@PDXPlan) twitter feed has over 1,100 followers and their Facebook page has over 1,700 fans. Portland has taken their social media endeavors seriously. It’s clear they view social media not as a bandwagon to jump on, but as a genuine and earnest way of reaching a diverse group of residents who, without social media, likely wouldn’t contribute their ideas.
Thought-provoking questions such as “How can we more fully incorporate arts into our daily lives?” are frequently posted by the Portland Plan. Others post to the Portland Plan’s Facebook wall thanking them for supporting their event. Flickr is used to highlight city workshops. The PDXPlan twitter feed is full of ways to experience Portland and become more involved in the planning process. Pictures from events are posted and added to regularly, all the while with Portland Plan thanking contributors for their ideas and comments.
One of the most encouraging aspects of Portland Plan’s endeavors is the amount of discussion that’s been generated. Social media aside, Portland created a great website and is truly going to the people by attending street fairs and summer events looking for big ideas with the help of their Portland Plan Game. The social media extension of their outreach efforts truly highlights all the work their doing. While it might not quite be sparking discussion as much as we would all like to see, it’s clear that Portland is on the cusp of something great. And we can’t wait to see how social media plays into their ultimate master plan.
Learn more about the Portland Plan’s efforts here: http://www.portlandonline.com/portlandplan/