Tuesday, Nov. 17, the Town of Blacksburg launched a community engagement platform called Let’s Talk Blacksburg. The new platform is a moderated website designed to encourage citizen ideas and social engagement, to gain feedback on Town initiatives and to prioritize community interests.
Let’s Talk Blacksburg allows Blacksburg residents and others to get involved, participate in community decision making and provide feedback on a variety of topics. Through the site, the Town of Blacksburg will listen, engage, provide timely project updates, and report back to the community about how their feedback has contributed to decisions that are being made.
By registering at http://letstalkblacksburg.org, individuals are able to provide comments and suggestions, take surveys, interact with other community members, brainstorm new ideas and receive future updates about projects of personal interest.
Although the town will continue to offer traditional, face-to-face engagement opportunities, Let’s Talk Blacksburg offers an additional online opportunity for users to have their say at their convenience. Project pages offer a mix of documents, links, videos and infographics that are designed by topic with easy access.
“Our goal is that everyone affected by an issue impacting their community has a say in the decision-making around it,” said Matt Hanratty, assistant to Blacksburg’s town manager. “We believe this is the way to build understanding and develop meaningful solutions to complex issues.”
The site currently offers opportunities to learn about and provide feedback on such topics and concerns as Blacksburg’s growing housing affordability challenge, the town’s infrastructure for the changing climate, the design of a community garden program and the design of the Draper Road streetscape.