This spring, SPA students had the opportunity to gain firsthand experience in applied research and help a Colorado municipality with its citizen engagement for land use and development. Working with the Hometown Colorado Initiative, MPA students in SPA Assistant Professor William Swann’s Organizational Management and Behavior course employed strategic management and planning techniques to develop a strategic action plan for the City of Arvada to help the city better engage citizens in land development decisions and dialogue.
Led by four student team leaders (Dan Graeve, Samantha Temple, Shelley McMullen and Drew Woodward), over 20 SPA students worked closely with Arvada’s Department of Community Development and other stakeholders to craft actionable strategic recommendations aimed at improving early-stage engagement, citizen and developer education/awareness and internal city communications systems. Team leaders presented the recommendations from the project to city officials and staff on May 4, receiving praise and constructive feedback for their work.
From left to right: City of Arvada Department of Community Development: Rita McConnell (director) and Will Tucker (planner II); School of Public Affairs students: Dan Graeve, Samantha Temple, Shelley McMullen, and Drew Woodward (photo by William Swann).