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City Park: Community Collaboration and Rotating Facilitator Exercise

John B. Stephens & Ricardo S. Morse (University of North Carolina)

May 2012


In this simulation students will address how facilitators can participate effectively, understand stakeholder interests and values, identify challenges to implementation and strategies for overcoming them, and attempt to find agreement on methods of communication, monitoring, and possible adaptation. It uses the example of City Park, a 10-acre area that the city has kept in its natural state since inheriting it 70 years ago. The East Creek Estates Neighborhood Association has petitioned the Parks Department to remove most of the trees and shrubs and build a ball field, playground, and tennis courts, but most of the residents of the West Rock Neighborhood are opposed to such a plan. The Parks Department drafted a site plan, but has not taken a stand on the proposed changes. The City Council will not act unless a consensus is reached by all relevant stakeholders and has appointed an ad hoc committee of citizens to develop options for the future of City Park.