Go to recipes A-Z

Unfortunately, there is no standard out of the box community planning blueprint. As each area is uniquely shaped by its people, culture and surroundings, the approach will be different for every community or neighbourhood.

VP groups can pick and choose recipes that would work best for their communities.

This cookbook which is constantly being updated, lists various recipes from A-Z on how to undertake community planning

How do you get started with community planning?

Back to recipes A-Z

Key elements of community-led planning

1. Strong leadership

Planning should be led by a group from the community that has credibility with the different sections of the community. The group must balance the interest of all stakeholders.

2. Community engagement

The community or locality should be involved in every step of the planning process. Isolated groups should be given a voice.

3. Strong evidence base

An effective plan is based on the views of the people which are grounded in evidence of real issues and aspirations.

4. Vision

A clear vision for the future will inform the way ahead. It should be grounded and must relate to opportunities and the the local context.

5. Action plans

the vision should be translated into a an action plan with clear objectives and priorities.

Ideas competition

Ideas competitions are good tools to generate interest in the project as well as stimulate innovative thinking. It gives the community a chance to put forward their ideas in a creative manner. Ideas competition is usually undertaken at the start of the planning process.


The project team or facilitators draft a statement or brief explaining the competition, entry format, deadline, and eligibility and judging criteria. For example, a brief is developed for a drawing/deisgn competition for a community playground/open space in front of the public library.

The entries can be presented to the public (display space or online).

A selected panel or the public can vote for the winning entry which will then be widely publicized and published to continue momentum for implementation. For example, the public can be given coloured dots which they will pin for their first choice. The highest number of dots garnered wins the competition.


Adminsitartion and marketing


pubishing results

Flaxroots is a priority initiative of the North Shore Community and Social Services funded under the Community Development Scheme of the Department of Internal Affairs