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.


Mapping is an effective tool to find out how people view their locality. This tool is a good way of collecting local data and information for community planning which will be used to understand differences in perception and stimulate debate.


Working groups create physical maps of their neighbourhood using simple tools like pen and paper, chalk, or whiteboards.

Facilitators typically provide a framework or theme to focus peoples toughts - example places you visit frequently, landmarks, boundaries, places you dislike, things you would like to see.

The created maps are discussed and analysed as a basis for understanding differing viewpoints and planning what should be done.

Records of maps and debates are made for future reference.


facilitation cost

pens and paper



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