Community and strategic planning needs meaningful public involvement to maximize the success of the resulting plans.

In smaller legacy cities, resources are often scare and not all competing visions can be implemented successfully. But due to their smaller size, there is also greater opportunity for community-wide consensus-building about the city’s future. This shared vision requires a robust and inclusive planning process that takes into account the interests and concerns of all stakeholders.

Community and strategic planning can be hard – it requires tough conversations and requires stakeholders to understand the tradeoffs of certain decisions. Incorporating the general public into the planning process can also be daunting, but it is crucial to creating plans that will have a lasting impact.

The Local Government Commission and the California Endowment created “Participation Tools for Better Community Planning” to provide local leaders with the tools necessary to engage the public in the planning process.

The guidebook contains four sections:

  1. Getting the People Out
  2. Events and Processes
  3. Tools for Engagement: In the Room
  4. Tools for Engagement: In the Field

This guidebook will prove helpful to community development novices and veterans alike.