Here’s some need-to-know information for the week:

2023 Community Survey to launch next week

The city will launch the 2023 Community Survey on Tuesday, Sept. 5 to ask community members about their priorities for the city, quality of life and their overall satisfaction with government services. Six thousand households will be randomly selected to participate in the community survey via mailed invitations. Beginning Oct. 3, an online version of the same survey will open to any community member who wishes to participate. Both versions of the survey will close for participation on Oct. 17.

Boulder-based survey firm National Research Center, now a subsidiary of Polco, is working with the city to gather community members’ input on issues facing Boulder. Surveys are available in English, Spanish and Nepali.

This year’s survey combines a shortened-version of template survey that has been used previously in Boulder, called the National Community Survey, with several new Boulder-specific questions that focus on racial equity. This blend will allow the city to analyze trend data for questions asked over the past decade while recognizing emerging issues of importance and attention in our community.

Boulder last conducted a full community survey in 2018. That survey informed City Council and staff on issues such as transportation, city planning, affordable housing, public safety, perceptions about community engagement and quality of life issues. The survey was paused over the past several years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

For more information about the survey, please contact Sarah Huntley, director of Communication and Engagement, at

Update on “Democracy Innovations for Better Public Meetings” project

The city is partnering with the National Civic League (League) on the “Better Public Meetings” project, with the goal of improving public meeting experiences and outcomes in local government. Boulder was chosen by the League as one of three pilot communities to generate ideas and solutions for best practices in public meetings. In Boulder, the focus will specifically be on improving processes in City Council meetings.

There are two main components of the project’s research design:

  • Civic Engagement Scorecard: This tool features a quantitative rating system for community members who are participating to provide feedback on the civic health of public meetings. The online scorecard will be available during all City Council meetings beginning Sept. 7 through Dec. 7, 2023. Community members are encouraged to provide feedback based on their experiences at these meetings.
  • Civic Infrastructure Scan: This feedback mechanism consists of qualitative interviews with community members who are involved in various capacities with public meetings, including local leaders and members of non-profit organizations. These interviews have already occurred, and the League will be sharing key themes in the months ahead.

The city has also committed to sharing feedback with researchers from the community survey, referenced above, for the questions that address engagement, public participation and City Council, specifically.

Based on the collective findings, the League will make recommendations to the city about innovations to try at City Council meetings. There will be an open community forum in early 2024 for the public to provide feedback on these recommendations.

More information on this national initiative is available on the League’s website.

As a reminder, Council Members Rachel Friend and Matt Benjamin are serving as council liaisons for this effort.

For questions or more information about the project, please contact Sarah Huntley, director of Communication and Engagement, at

Office of Arts & Culture to support dialogue and creative display of community feedback for Boulder Social Streets

The Boulder Social Streets project, which launched in December 2022, is experimenting with eight pop-ups on 13th Street this summer. Five pop-ups have been completed and three are remaining to be held in September (including this Friday’s/tonight’s rescheduled Melanin Funk Fest). Downtown Boulder Partnership is contracted to coordinate this summer’s pop-up series on 13th Street. Staff will present its recommendations for future steps in a study session in December 2023.

The city’s Experiments in Public Art Program has awarded a contract to artist Edica Pacha for a temporary public art project that will help facilitate conversations about our community’s hopes and dreams for Social Streets.

Experiments in Public Art projects use civic practice-style art installations to test new ways of making art, explore new paths for engagement and social cohesion, and invent novel approaches to narrating the important conversations of our times. Through her work, the artist will primarily convey feedback already gathered by the City of Boulder about reimagining streets as public space.

The civic practice-style art is intended to raise awareness of different perspectives related to streets as public space; and provide the city with useful feedback on priorities and concerns for a potential future Social Streets program.

The artist will also engage visitors at the CU Athletics Meet and Greet pop-up (Sept. 8), What’s Up Boulder (Sept. 10), Community Art Day pop-up (Sept. 24) and the [Placeholder] Festival (Oct. 20-22) in an interactive experience to collect additional feedback. The art will be layered and evolve over the next six weeks using mostly existing and some new community feedback. The artist’s work will be documented and reported on together with the other engagement work for this project.

Edica Pacha’s work is already on display on 13th Street in front of BMOCA and on the corners of Arapahoe Avenue and Canyon Boulevard. The images and quotes will continue to change between now and mid-October.

The following are a few examples:



If you have questions, please reach out to Sarah Huntley, director of Communication and Engagement, by email at

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