Public participation and support is essential to most planning and design projects. By involving the public early in the process and by allowing them to become actively engaged in the planning and design process, Dodson & Flinker assures that final recommendations enjoy broad public support. A well thought out public participation strategy, good publicity, interactive design charrettes and responsible follow-through and implementation ensure that the public participation process is a real factor in the evolution of the project. Compelling visual tools that are easy for the general public to use are key to successfully involving participants in planning and design decisions. Visual simulations, interactive computer models, and three-dimensional plans help participants understand and manipulate their environment. D&F has also designed and conducted public preference polls on the web and used websites to disseminate information on planning projects. The firm has successfully conducted workshops ranging from a dozen to hundreds of people in locations throughout the US and Canada.