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Community Engagement Process


The Community Engagement process for the Downtown Waterfront Project has included proactive outreach, multiple ways to participate, and an open, process that encourages considering all perspectives (including those not always at the table).


Like any big municipal effort, we have used a project steering committee, community outreach, and workshops. What is different about the approach to the Downtown Waterfront project, however, is use of consensus building to develop a shared understanding of needs, including site conditions, expected sea level rise, and opportunities.  

In this case, we are building on a process that achieved broad based consensus on a climate-ready Conceptual Design and taking that design to the next level of detail (30% engineering, with more detailed cost estimates). As the design work gets more detailed, there will be  tradeoffs to be made, styles to be selected, and problems to solve. We will continue use a consensus building process via the steering committee with open-to-all participation to address those challenges.  And we will continue to provide multiple opportunities and means for community-wide input.

Multi-Faceted Stakeholder Process

  • Ad Hoc Downtown Waterfront Committee,  made up of representatives of the Harbor Management Commission, Parks & Rec Advisory Committee, Harbor Trail Committee, the festivals, and members of the general public – with open meetings where all stakeholders are welcome at the table.  

  • A consensus-building focus  that considered goals, objectives and needs identified in the Harbor Management Plan, Draft Comprehensive Plan, and past committees and processes – and started building from areas of agreement.

  • A consulting team including Landmark Engineers, RS Leonard Landscape Architecture, and Musson Group, funded with help from a State Shore & Harbor Planning grant from the Maine Coastal Program.

  • A community survey that provided a voice for hundreds of community members on how the parks and piers are used, as well as community wants and needs.

  • Proactive outreach and collaboration with  stakeholders – including festivals, the farmer’s market, food trucks, project neighbors, City Committees, and others who use the park.

  • Coordination with relevant City Commissions and Committees, with opportunities for input. A project website with information on meetings, outcomes, drafts, and opportunities for input (by phone, email, or meeting).

  • Community site tour and workshops to share progress and solicit input.

  • Televised updates and presentations to City Council 

Check out the links below for more information

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