Public Engagement Working Group (PEWG)

Pittsburgh’s Department of City Planning is inviting applicants to participate in the Public Engagement Working Group to review and renew the approach to public participation in the City’s planning process. The key focus of the group’s work will be to contribute to the Public Participation Plan for the City’s Comprehensive Plan initiative.  Engagement is key to the next phase of completing the Comprehensive Plan, which, in coordination with major planning initiatives including the ONEPGH Resilience Strategy and the People, Planet, Place, and Performance (p4) Principles, and building on public engagement and guidance, will shape policy and practice for the city’s sustainable growth to 2030 and beyond. 

The Public Participation Plan will outline the framework for how the City conducts engagement efforts throughout the next phases of the Comprehensive Planning process, and will also establish guidelines for improving the approach to engagement more broadly.  This will require engaging broad range of constituencies in the community, including those not historically engaged throughout this process. This Public Engagement Working Group (PEWG) will build on a multitude of efforts by the City and Civic sector to improve public engagement, including the Deliberative Democracy approach, neighborhood planning, and equity and sustainability initiatives, which have worked to encourage and achieve active participation across a broad and diverse cross section of the Pittsburgh community.

The Working Group’s tasks will include reviewing these tools as well as national best practices, and looking at specific avenues for improvement, from public hearings to workshops and training. This work will draw both on experience developed in Pittsburgh, as well as from recent approaches across the US that set a paradigm, notably the work of the Austin, Texas Department of City Planning in their Public Participation Plan, among many other key resources.

The City will work with the PEWG to establish the framework and principles for the Public Engagement Plan, learning from local practices and emerging paradigms for engagement. The Public Engagement Planning process will include three key meetings and one public panel that focuses on best practices and innovation for public engagement.

Working Group members will attend four events, including a Public Participation Panel and three Working Group meetings occurring on the following dates:

  1. Public Engagement Panel (open to the public)
    • Thursday, September 13th, from 6:30-9pm
    • Pittsburgh Children’s Museum (free parking on site)
  2. PEWG Meeting #1
    • Wednesday, October 10th, from 6-8pm
    • 200 Ross Street, 4th Floor, Pittsburgh, PA 15219
  3. PEWG Meeting #2
    • Wednesday, November 7th, from 6-8pm
    • 200 Ross Street, 4th Floor, Pittsburgh, PA 15219
  4. PEWG Meeting #3
    • Wednesday, December 5th, from 6-8pm
    • 200 Ross Street, 4th Floor, Pittsburgh, PA 15219

We recognize that this is a significant commitment, and appreciate the commitment and dedication of those who are interested in applying, and ask that if you cannot attend the panel and all meetings above, that you not apply.  The PEWG may also be invited to a number of optional events.

To apply, please click here:

The application will be available until Sunday, August 26th, 2018 at midnight. Working Group members will be notified of their participation by Friday, August 31st, 2018.

Andrew W. McCray
Housing Specialist
Department of City Planning

Sophia Robison
Project Manager
Department of City Planning