Planning for Community Engagement: Drexel University Creates the Dornsife Center for Neighborhood Partnerships

DURING THE GRAND OPENING OF DREXEL UNIVERSITY’S Dornsife Center for Neighborhood Partnerships in Philadelphia in June 2014, one of the speakers remarked that the center’s opening and dedication ceremony was the culmination of a participatory stakeholder planning process that had spanned the previous two years. The implication that the ceremony represented a wrapping-up, however, does not quite tell the whole story. The Dornsife Center was launched through a process that charted programming content, operations, and design, certainly—but this comprehensive planning process is iterative and continuous and is bundled into both the facility’s design and its ongoing daily operations.

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