How Hendersonville, NC Built Relationships and Engaged Over 3K Residents

Hendersonville Community Profile

Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, Hendersonville is home to around 15,000 residents.  With a diverse economy focused on tourism, agriculture, and healthcare, some Hendersonville residents experience a poverty rate nearly double that of the national average (12.6%).

Above Table: Hendersonville, NC Poverty and Diversity Data from the Census Bureau ACS 5-year Estimate.


The Challenge: Increase Community Engagement in Comprehensive Planning 

Public engagement between government and residents in a small community like Hendersonville, NC, comes with its own set of challenges. While smaller communities often offer a more tight-knit and accessible environment for engagement, they may also face some unique obstacles. Typical obstacles include limited resources, engagement fatigue, privacy concerns, and limited diversity of perspectives.  To address these obstacles, Hendersonville sought innovative solutions to enhance community engagement around the development of their 2045 Comprehensive Plan, known as Gen H.

Focused on charting a roadmap for sustainable growth and conservation, the Hendersonville Planning Department team encouraged residents to think generationally about addressing critical issues shaping the future of their community. 

Exponential Growth of Resident Relationships and Community Engagement

A pivotal part of the Gen H community engagement plan was the launch of a community survey via PublicInput.  Through the use of this survey, the Hendersonville team was able to achieve exponential growth in both their development of a resident database as well as input on an array of topics ranging from parks and green spaces to funding from the American Rescue Plan (ARP).  The following is a summary of the notable engagement and relationship indicators associated with the Gen H Plan survey: 

    • Over 9.6K people viewed the Gen H survey project page. 
    • 3.9K people took the survey
    • Over 8.7K comments were submitted
    • More than 1.6K people subscribed for more information and updates

Since 2019, The City of Hendersonville has seen a . . .

The Result: Resident Relationships And Community Engagement Soar

Active on the PublicInput platform since August 2019, the City of Hendersonville has witnessed remarkable growth in resident relationships and community engagement across various topics.  The following table gives a glimpse of the overall growth of the Hendersonville community engagement efforts as reported from year one to present:

Through use of the PublicInput platform, the Hendersonville team continues to shape its future through informed, inclusive, and generational community input. Allison Justus, Communications Manager for the City of Hendersonville and describes the platform . . .

“PublicInput has been a useful tool in our community engagement initiatives over the past few years. As we expanded our outreach across a variety of projects and departments, the platform played a pivotal role in fostering and organizing public participation to steer the course of our plans and policies. The robust survey tools and reporting features of PublicInput proved especially valuable during the development of our Gen H Comprehensive Plan.”

Want to learn more about PublicInput and how the platform can help your community increase engagement and build strong resident relationships? 

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