Communication and Outreach

Community Engagement Process Development (CEPD)

Studying best practices for conducting outreach

The City of Raleigh Community Engagement Process Development (CEPD) is studying best practices for conducting outreach in order to create a standard process for community outreach and engagement in City Planning projects. The goals of the CEPD are to:

  • Research Best Practices in public engagement
  • Survey Public Engagement Preferences through a public survey, pop-up events, a community forum, and community conversations
  • Assess Current Practices by looking at the current engagement process for the City of Raleigh Planning Department
  • Create a Participation Playbook based on the insights and lessons learned throughout the study

Project Details

Area Plans
Project Lead:
Sara Ellis



Sara Ellis
Senior Planner

Service Unit:



Where are we in the process?

The Raleigh Planning and Development Department's mission is to guide development and conservation for a healthy and prosperous Raleigh. To make sure we are serving everyone equally, we need the input of as many residents as possible during the planning of our projects. We strive to continuously improve our methods of community engagement in a way that informs, consults, involves, collaborates with, and empowers the residents of our community.

The Public Participation Playbook was presented to City Council in August. This Playbook contains a comprehensive and equitable guide for future engagement based on Raleigh residents’ preferences and research of best practices. The Staff Training for the Public Participation Playbook will take place in September.

What has already been completed?

CEPD Project Timelin
  • August 2019: We researched best practices for community engagement by looking at what other U.S. cities do.
  • September – October 2019: We shadowed City Planning staff to assess current outreach efforts. We interviewed key staff and reviewed existing policies, procedures, and communication materials.
  • October 1 – December 2, 2019: We surveyed Raleigh residents on their past engagement and what would make them more likely to attend in the future. Check out our Full Survey Results Report for the results.
  • October 2019: We tabled at pop-up events all over the City! We talked to Raleigh residents about the CEPD and ask them to take the survey.
  • October 25, 2019: We held a Community Forum for local stakeholders and community groups. We discussed "How Proactive Engagement Can Change Your Community." If you couldn't make it, check out the presentation and meeting summary.
  • November 2019: We hosted Community Conversations with local organizations and groups. We asked the groups for their feedback on City engagement efforts. Check out the meeting summary for what we learned.
  • November 2019: We presented to CACs in Raleigh about the project. If you missed it, check out our presentation.
  • February 2020: We hosted a Community Workshop as a follow-up to the forum in October. Stakeholders and community groups were asked to identify barriers for engagement and ways to engage their communities. Check out our presentation and meeting summary for more information.

For a full review of our Phase I Outreach efforts, check out our Outreach Summary.

How Do I Get Involved?

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