Thanks to Francis Bula for pointing us to this article from last November which I would certainly not have seen otherwise.
The article refers to a theory that shows including public participation, what we like to call community engagement, speeds the implementation of new ideas.
Creighton’s theory compares two types of decisions: Unilateral and Public Participation. Unilateral decisions result in a quicker decision being made, but implementation time can take significantly longer because of legal issues, controversy, or other delays. Conversely, a decision made with public participation increases the amount of time it takes to make a decision, however, that time and much more is made up in the implementation process. Thus, including more voices at the table results in a more efficient and timely process compared to unilateral decisions.
The example they use in the article is about bike share in Los Angeles. But the theory seems to be useful for all development and planning decision making.