As part of its annual strategic planning efforts, the community development corporation based in Downtown Pittsburgh sought the expertise of an economic development firm to lead a stakeholder engagement initiative to assist in understanding the needs of its community. Over the course of several months, we led a process on behalf of the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership that included 5 focus groups with approximately 120 participants; input from the Mayor’s Office; and an online survey that garnered more than 600 responses.

Totem’s approach to stakeholder engagement is rooted in the experience of the economic development practitioners they are and elevated by their expertise in what it takes to make neighborhoods more vibrant and dynamic spaces.
— Jeremy Waldrup, President and CEO, Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership

Through an interactive approach that included mapping exercises, brainstorming sessions, and charrettes, we asked stakeholders to focus on thematic areas related to quality of life, economic development, transportation, and marketing. The result of the outreach process coalesced around a set of obstacles and opportunities, as well as a number of recommendations aimed at addressing these. To organize all of the findings into a cohesive narrative, we developed a strategic framework that the organization can use to make budget and programmatic decisions for the future.  

Images this page by Oscar Alberto

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