Engaging the Millennial Generation : public participation methods for Millennials in Austin’s planning processes
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Planning processes include the necessary component of engaging the public in the process with a fair and equitable process. The difficulty with participatory planning processes is reaching all affected groups. One of these difficult to reach cohorts is the Millennial generation. It is a common misunderstanding that Millennials are unengaged and self-centered. Regardless, it is important to engaging the generation because Millennials are a large part of urban populations, especially in Austin. As Austin implements the 2012 comprehensive plan, there are many planning processes that will follow. Austin city planners have the opportunity to engage the Millennial cohort moving forward with these planning processes, starting with the activity corridors, which is the next task of the comprehensive plan. To understand how to engage the Millennials it is important to define the generation's characteristics. The literature review is research of the history of participation, generational differences, and analysis of the Millennials. Then, the report looks at case studies from four cities that have targeted the Millennial generation in engagement process to deduct important themes and understand lessons learned. Overall, the report realizes through the analysis of the characteristics and themes that Millennials engage in different ways than have been effective in the past, but they are, in fact, engaged in civic life. Millennial characteristics and motivations align with the modern landscape of public participation. Understanding the target audience will make planning processes more equitable.