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Building Bridges

Building Bridges: How do we listen to each other?

Building Bridges is a city-community collaboration to envision and enact a more productive atmosphere of civic communication in Boulder. Inspired by the work of the Public Participation Working Group, pdf the city partnered with community members and the University of Colorado’s Center for Communication and Democratic Engagement to co-create a vision for what we want our communication landscape to look like and a plan for how to get there.  

More than 300 people have been part of the conversation so far, through public workshops, interviews, online forums and a working committee. And we aren’t done yet!

Upcoming Event

Building Bridges: Enacting a Vision for Productive Dialogue

WHAT: Powered by a collective of ideas and viewpoints, we will explore implementation of the shared vision, dive deeper into the identified enduring issues and advance community ownership of the Building Bridges project. 
WHEN: Thursday, Nov. 7, 6 to 8:30 p.m.
WHERE: West Senior Center, 909 Arapahoe Ave., Boulder

Based on your input, and the input of more than 300 community members, a group of volunteers developed a vision for effective civic communication and identified enduring issues that call for further attention. The community brainpower dedicated to this effort helps support ongoing changes in Boulder’s culture of public engagement. And our work continues!

Spanish interpretation will be available and there will be childcare onsite (please sign up for a "childcare ticket" when registering).


What we've heard

So far, the conversations have been lively and insightful. Participants have said that changing Boulder’s culture of public engagement is rooted in two ideas: community members want to ​be heard and respected in public processes, and​ all opinions matter​ to decision-making. Attendees have focused on issues of:

  • Power
  • Trust 
  • Transparency
  • Listening 
  • And improving communication structures 





Continuing the conversation

A core group of participants explored the collective input and developed a vision for civic communication, isolated enduring issues that make engagement difficult, and developed proposals as part of a framework for change. We will be sharing their work at a public event on the fall of 2019 and hope you will join us. Stay tuned!   

Take a deeper dive

If we’ve piqued your interest and you’d like to dig into workshop materials and committee reports, here you will find the notes from the gatherings, participant feedback and more. 

Get in touch

Do you have questions about the Building Bridges series? Are you looking for more information, or would you like to join the conversation? Contact Brenda Ritenour, Boulder's neighborhood liaison, at [email protected] or 303-441-1895, or Sarah Huntley, Boulder's engagement manager, at [email protected] or 720-564-2111.