GETTING THE MOST FROM YOUR Futurescape City Tour
Throughout the tour you’ve gathered information about citizens’ values related to your FCT topic. Perhaps you’ve recorded the sessions, taken observational notes, and photographed the sessions. You have an impressive conglomeration of multi-media data. How you process this data depends on your intended use of the FCTs and the specific goals of the intervention. For some, the effort may stop with the deliberative session, and for others, the FCTs may fit in to larger or ongoing engagement projects. Some FCT organizers may want to study the outcomes more rigorously or the method more systematically. Following are some thoughts and tips on how to get the most from that data and to integrate it with you or your organization’s work.
Broadcasting the FCT Results: One consideration to make up front surrounds which audiences might benefit from learning about citizen views on an urban issue. In other words, who has a stake in better appreciating the ways a diverse audience approaches the problem? Carefully thinking through potential users of the results will help determine the best way to use the FCT data, as well as give clues to the level of analysis required.
One way to extend the value of the project is by displaying the photos and notes in a public exhibition space, such as a gallery, library, or a community art event. This is a great opportunity to engage the tour’s experts and stakeholders, as well as other members of the public. The exhibit can include a synthesis of participants’ thoughts from the workbooks, a slide show of the photos, hard copies of the images with their captions, images or video of the tour itself, etc. You can provide mechanisms for visitors to add their thoughts to the photos and reflections as well. The FCTs can be a kick-starter to other civic dialogues.
An FCT is a great opportunity to strengthen public relations between cities and citizens or to garner some positive media coverage for an organization. Local television news channels and newspapers covered many of the FCTs conducted during the development stage. It’s a good idea to send out a press release before the tour, in case a news crew wants to photograph or videotape the tour. Or, sending out a release with photos of citizens participating in various stages of the FCT immediately after the final deliberation might result in some media interest.
Additional Opportunities for Data Collection: There are both lightweight and intensive ways of collecting data in the three sessions. In addition to documenting the workshops and collecting the photographs, there are many additional potential data sources. The recruitment application, a post-tour evaluation, post-tour interviews, and session summary write ups all provide opportunities to gather and analyze information about participants and the potential impact of the FCT on their thoughts and behavior. Again, the level of detail and rigor depends on the aims of your FCT.