🎉 Konveio recognized in the prestigious 2024 GovTech 100 list!

Richmond, Virginia conducted a four-year comprehensive planning process to help guide decisions and strategies for its future. “Richmond 300: A Guide For Growth” was awarded the 2021 Daniel Burnham Award for a Comprehensive Plan by the American Planning Association (APA). It’s the highest recognition awarded by APA annually and recognizes innovative work that helps create a more prosperous and equitable community for current and future residents and raises awareness of the importance of planning.

We were fortunate enough to meet with Maritza Mercado Pechin, Richmond 300’s Project Manager, and discussed how Konveio was used to help gather community input for this plan.

Expanding the reach:

With hundreds of recommendations and a plethora of meetings and workshops, Richmond 300 was a major undertaking. One of their key challenges was to greatly expand the reach of their engagement and to include a mix of participants that reflected the community at large.

The project team utilized many strategies to reach a more diverse audience (including a 7 member community task force on the streets). And Konveio was added into the mix for the final phase with the full draft document. In the end, roughly half to 2/3rds of those who participated in shaping the plan did so through online means.

Maritza Mercado Pechin:

When you host a traditional meeting, you reach the same people who always show up. And then people will look around the room and realize how much of the diversity isn’t being represented.
So we said, we know how we’re going to get the people we always engage, and we’re going to do that. But we’re not going to spend most of our time trying to reach them, we’re going to spend most of our time trying to reach everyone else.
We used many tactics to reach under-represented groups - which included paid community members who helped us reach their constituencies, online and printed surveys, small group meetings, and more. Konveio was one very helpful tool in the suite of engagement methods we used in the planning process.

Creating community and collaboration:

To an extent, large-scale community engagement was new to the majority of Richmond’s citizens. Konveio exposed participants to the broader community and additional viewpoints for them to consider and contribute to. This led residents to read the plan more closely while cutting down on repeat questions and observations.

Maritza Mercado Pechin:

Konveio helps participants to realize that there’s a broader community of stakeholders and of people invested and interested in the planning process.
If someone sent me an email before Konveio, they wouldn’t know that I received a hundred other emails. Yet if they scrolled through the document on Konveio and saw a bunch of comments, it lets them know that other people care about what’s happening in the city.  
By reading others’ comments, they might realize someone has already shared their thought or question and then they can react with a thumbs up or draft a reply.
Overall, I think that it’s more likely that they will encounter and consider more viewpoints with Konveio than if they attended a public workshop because it’s on their own time and they have more opportunities and touchpoints.
Konveio helped to bring the plan a little bit more alive, and I don’t think people would have read it as closely if they didn’t have an opportunity to comment anywhere on the document.

Making the most of community input:

In every public consultation, there seems to be a fine line between not enough feedback and so much feedback that it becomes difficult to make great use of it. Konveio has always helped project teams to manage high volumes of feedback and Richmond was no exception as it helped them to track and ensure that sure every comment was considered and incorporated.

Maritza Mercado Pechin:

From a project management perspective, Konveio helped us to manage all of the comments that we were getting.
In our previous phase, phase 2, we got all of these different comments from people on separate PDFs and it was quite tedious to manage. Konveio definitely made it a lot easier to receive feedback from many different parties.
Since a few of us had access to it, Konveio helped us to make sure that we responded to things internally and incorporate each comment whether it was a big idea or something small like a typo.


Maritza Mercado Pechin:

Konveio was very helpful and we have continued to use it after the adoption of Richmond 300.

The process to create Richmond 300 was expansive and inclusive, and now, the fun of implementation begins. I am honored to join the city staff to execute the recommendations outlined in the plan so that Richmond 300 is truly a guide to creating a more equitable, sustainable, and beautiful Richmond, and not just a plan that sits on a shelf.

Read more about Richmond 300:

Richmond 300: A Guide for Growth deemed top comprehensive plan in the Nation

Richmond 300: Righting Past Wrongs With Inclusive Planning

"What Makes a Racially Equitable City?" - Maritza E. Mercado Pechin OP-ED

Contact Us

Similar case studies

Abstract customers share how they manage design systems, scale design operations, and collaborate cross-functionally.

Explore a live example

Experience our platform as if you were a participant.
Explore Konveio
Don't be shy!
Check it out for yourself.