In addition to surveying the community and holding public meetings, the City of Lowell seeks to engage a diverse audience in the Master Plan update process through the use of new media. In partnership with Emerson College, the City of Lowell is launching Community PlanIt, a free virtual planning tool that engages residents in thinking about the future of their communities in fun and interactive ways. Through the game, players can share their “voice” and vote on issues that matter to them most.
This soon-to-be open source software platform has been developed by faculty and staff from Emerson’s Engagement Game Lab. The game is web-based, so it can be played from any computer or mobile phone that has access to the internet. Lowell is the first city to formally use it for the purposes of long-range planning and is looking forward to engaging with the local community through this new medium. Similarly to the survey and public meetings, input gathered through the course of the 10-day Community PlanIt launch will help inform future policy decisions and shape the city’s vision for the future. Content for Lowell’s Community PlanIt game has been developed by a variety of youth organizations in the city, including the United Teen Equality Center and the Boys & Girls Club, as well as staff in the Department of Planning and Development.
The city has made every effort to develop a game that will bring together residents of all ages and backgrounds.
In order to make access available for everyone, Lowell Telecommunications Corporation, 246 Market Street, will open their computer lab for public use of Community PlanIt on the following dates:
- Wednesday, June 15th from 3 – 8:00 PM
- Thursday, June 16th from 3 – 8:00 PM
- Saturday, June 18th from 10 AM – 2:00 PM
- Tuesday, June 21st from 3 – 8:00 PM
- Friday, June 24th from 3 – 6:00 PM
Sign up to play Lowell’s Community PlanIt here between June 15th – 25th!