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Imagine Auburn’s Second Workshop Gathers the Creative Minds of Auburn’s Community

The Imagine Auburn team hosted the second community workshop in their series, entitled Create, on Tuesday, April 11th at the Auburn Public Library Community Room. Workshop 2 allowed the creative minds of the Auburn community to come together and continue developing a vision for future growth in the Commercial Core that will generate a new form-based code (FBC) zoning overlay for the district.

The primary goal of Create was to apply the ideas expressed by the community in the first workshop and explore how those ideas may, or may not, achieve the desired results in plan and en mass. Almost 40 community members were in attendance, some returning for their second workshop and others bringing their fresh perspectives as first-time attendees. The afternoon began with a brief introduction to the project followed by an icebreaker activity that engaged participants with a summary of the first workshop, Explore. In teams, participants arranged a list of Auburn elements based on their preferences. They explored how their personal interests related to the public interest, comparing their answers to the public’s top five rankings from previously culminated outreach.

Next came the main event, the playing of the Imagine Auburn city board game. This game was designed in direct response to the top opportunity and challenge the community identified for the Commercial Core: walkability. The goal of the game was to make an optimal walkable lifestyle for each participant’s assigned character, to better their character’s Auburn experience by improving where they live, work, and play. Players could choose to utilize existing establishments or place new establishments to address their character’s needs. The establishments available for the gameplay came from ideas of Workshop 1 attendees regarding how to address walkability. Characters included Young Family, Family with Teens, 20’s and Free, 30’s Professionals, and Retirees. After the board game’s two rounds were completed, focus groups were created based on the participant’s new “city planner” skills. Most players managed to create a reasonable walkable lifestyle for their character from the Workshop 1 ideas, with certain establishments being preferred. Several players identified scenarios where establishments did not produce the desired effect.

To make the most of the gameboard learnings, participants were divided into four focus groups to discuss residential space, commercial space, open and green space, and social space. Focus groups then discussed their findings with the whole group. The evening concluded with good spirits and popsicle treats, with most participants eager to continue their discussions further with the design team and attend the third remaining workshop.

Both the game board results and the focus group notes are assisting the team in developing the third and final community workshop, where the community’s vision will be displayed as a large masterplan for the public to review and comment upon.

Imagine Auburn is encouraging the local community to attend Envision - Workshop 3 to help shape Auburn’s FBC. See the pieces come together, celebrate the community’s progress, and enjoy the company of others at The Station Public House over drinks and appetizers. The team asks all interested participants to RSVP to help the team prepare the event accordingly. All generations are encouraged to attend.

Upcoming Events:

Envision - Workshop 3

Tuesday, April 25th from 5:00 pm to 7:30 pm, The Station Public House

Can you find your ideas in the vision plan? Come see the pieces together and envision implementation.

Community members can register for the workshops or join the project’s email list through the project’s website,

Imagine Auburn is the public outreach component for the Form-Based Code project sponsored by the City of Auburn.


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