The CURES Community Project Lab puts community needs and priorities first. Step 1 of our community engagement process is outreach to small Illinois communities (<150K) to collect information on community needs and priorities. For the 2021 CPL, this included informally reviewing several communities’ planning documents and then conducting a more formal survey, sent to over 200 municipal managers (villages, cities, towns) and county administrators, to better understand community sustainability initiative priorities. A goal for 2022 is to reach out to additional communities throughout the state (e.g., through survey, creating a web portal for community submission of priorities, webinars & focus groups).
Figure Credit: Dr. Thomas Skuzinski, Northern Illinois University