OpenLittleton is an online tool that allows residents to communicate with city leaders about issues under consideration by council and the community. Registered users can subscribe to updates from the city and get emails announcing new topics as well as the outcome of existing topics. There are more than 800 people participating in the ever-changing, online discussion of Littleton’s future.
Why did we use it?
The goal in using OpenLittleton was to reach a different demographic. There are a lot of people that can’t make it to public meetings, but they can engage in conversations online. We wanted to hear from them. The biggest age group in our online audience is 25-54, more specifically 35-44.
- 25-34 - 24.6%
- 35-44 - 31.4%
- 45-54 - 22.1%
How did we use OpenLittleon and what did the process look like?
- We attempted to recreate the Appreciative Inquiry method online to mirror the public dialogue process as closely as possible.
- We used only essay-style questions to give participants the opportunity to open up about a variety of topics, ideas or suggestions.
- We asked the same four questions that were asked at public meetings.
- We left the survey open for four weeks.
- It was promoted in the Littleton Report, on Nextdoor and on the city’s social media accounts.
- 105 people participated in the online survey. At 3 minutes per response that equates to about 5.3 hours of public comment;
- Mostly female;
- Highest identified age group: 30-39;
- A majority of online participants opted to not share their age and gender.
What information did we collect?
From our 105 responses, we were able to narrow that information down to themes based on frequently-used words and answers.Some of the biggest topics can be seen in this world cloud:
- “Last year our family went down for the tree lighting. My son sang in the one of the choirs. We enjoyed hot cider from a vendor, sang along with the music.”
- “Lovely evenings enjoying a dinner and stroll in the downtown area.”
- “Walking downtown to have lunch and window shop with my children.
- “We have had many enjoyable days in Downtown Littleton. These include the parades, festivals, shows, restaurant, bar and shop visits. We often run into friends we know from around the community and we have invited friends to join us at times.”
What do you value most about Downtown Littleton?
- “The diversity of businesses and activities available there.”
- “Performing Arts & Concerts at Town Hall. Access to Lightrail, Parks, Coffee Shops, ACC Affordable Art Fair, Steet Signage, Platte trail.”
- “Small town, family atmosphere. Friendly shop owners.”
- “I love that it is still a small town atmosphere but with many new visitors.”
When you are downtown, what makes Littleton stand out from other communities of similar size/demographic?
- “Growth - many historic or downtown areas have become stagnant.”
- “I think the accessibility: we have a great mix of families that live nearby, students who are attracted to ACC and people who can come by light rail.”
- “Littleton has a vibe that is both modern and old-town. There are plenty of old shops and buildings around to keep the history around, but a lot of modern restaurants as well as young people living in the surrounding apartments to keep the city alive”
What three wishes would you make to heighten the vitality and health of Downtown Littleton?
- “More coffee shops, more wine bars, better, affordable, fresh (farm to table) restaurants, MORE PARKING.”
- “Parking. Parking. Parking.”
- “1) More speciality smaller shops (unique). 2) More family events, as well as grown ups. 3) MOST importantly...more parking. Either a parking garage and/or free shuttles on Main Street to take you to your car to parking at Arapahoe Community College (evenings) and another location during the day.”
How will it be beneficial?
Collecting this feedback from a different audience will not only allow us to include more of the community in the discussion about Littleton’s future, but it also allows us as a staff to compare feedback from all four groups of people. Because of that we have been able to find common themes among community members from different backgrounds and narrow our focus in on the issues or concerns that affect the most people.
So what did people say?
Read the comments received on OpenLittleton (109 pages)