Place Conversations and Diaries

Place conversations allow anyone to join a conversation in public. Various prompts can either start a general conversation or address a specific topic. Place conversations can be formal & scheduled, or smaller, surreptitious interactions.


Benefits & Problems Addressed

Meeting people where they are: Place conversations add street-level, low serendipitous communications to provide information and/or solicit input. These boards can draw participants who otherwise don't participate in conventional public meetings and workshops. 

Place-base reference points: By holding the meeting in the affected place, participants have a greater first-hand look at area, its potential and constraints,

Tips & Techniques

Getting started: Determine if a place diary is appropriate for the topic.  Choose a visible, safe, accessible location with high pedestrian traffic. Get necessary permission and permits.
Preparation: Combine with outreach to make sure your get a range of voices. Create a social media campaign so people can follow.
Getting the most out of a meeting: Combine with public art, planning processes, public art and even disaster recovery. Gather video interviews to give greater context to comments.

Smaller conversations: Place diaries can be small scale, such as bench diaries, or a conversation on peoples' experience at a bus stop (and how to improve the experience).
Hot Buttons: may need to monitor to keep comments on point and family friendly. Users will want to know how their contributions will be used.


Bench Diaries 



Image: Twitter/@benchdiaries