Community engagement planning : how practitioners can select methodologies fitting their projects and ensuring effectiveness

Awarding institution
  • University of Strathclyde
Date of award
  • 2011
Thesis identifier
  • T13125
Qualification Level
Qualification Name
Department, School or Faculty
  • Community Engagement in planning, intended as a community shared decision making process achieved through consultation, is today required more than ever. Current laws, planning advice notes, and a multitude of handbooks and guidelines from governmental and private entities addressed to either community groups or private practices specify the importance of Community Engagement and moreover encourage its practice. Engaging the public in activities or consulting the wider community for feedback is now one of the most widespread necessities in politics and therefore, in planning. Drafts of National Plans and laws use the principles of consultation to incorporate an assessment by the whole community. While the relevance of the policy aspect of Community Engagement is increasing, its technical application remains unclear. In particular, the adaptability of Community Engagement to particular situations is difficult to define, and therefore its application is challenging for practitioners. Community Engagement for the practitioner is often time-consuming, expensive and can sometimes lead to practitioner-conditioned outputs or to an unclear vision of the community as a whole. This paper provides a structured tool for practitioners to set up Community Engagement processes in decision making for urban development and regeneration under a variety of circumstances. The tool is innovative in its systematic way of organising currently available and tested methodologies. Its structure provides support in choosing the methodologies that best fit the user and, moreover, suggests the most suitable links between them. By using the tool, practitioners can review a wide range of existent techniques in a short time, use our 'six step structure' to build effective professional products, and use our 'selection matrix' to fit professional products to specific projects based on the single practice's needs. The tool, developed in the form of a web site, includes a comprehensive overview of Community Engagement methods in order to maintain a wide range of possibilities for practitioners to self-select a methodology fitting their projects; this level of flexibility has been developed considering the effectiveness of community engagement processes as the most important feature. This work is motivated by the necessity of a well known planning firm to optimise its Community Engagement approach.
Resource Type
Date Created
  • 2011
Former identifier
  • 946609