Community Engagement

Community Engagement

Done right, community engagement builds trust – even when consensus is out of reach. It brings fresh thinking, new voices, and creates a more informed and involved public. Decisions made with the public are better decisions, and better accepted.

But the reality of crafting and running an engagement process can be overwhelming. It takes a methodical, data-driven strategy, ease with all kinds of stakeholder groups, and a knack for making it easy and fun to get people involved.

MAPC brings award-winning community engagement to your project. We seek people out and draw them in, even from groups that tend to be hard to reach and engage. That means new ideas, new participants, and plans with wider support. We work to make data, tradeoffs, and the entire planning process inclusive, clear, and accessible to all. With our regional, equity-centered lens and deep connections with diverse networks and partners your projects are sure to be a success.

Our team can teach you how to improve your community engagement practice through trainings and workshops, or you can hire us to consult on your project! Learn more below.

Our Values

  • Equitable community engagement
  • Transparency
  • Stewardship
  • Accessibility
  • Resilience
  • Transformation
  • Accountability

Upcoming Events

There are no upcoming events.

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To discuss how your project can benefit from our community engagement expertise, contact the Community Engagement team at

April25, 2019. Boston, MA.
MAPC staff headshots.
Metropolitan Area Planning Council.
© 2019 Marilyn Humphries

Interim Community Engagement Director

Sasha Parodi

Subregional Program

Nunnally_Najee 300x375

Community Engagement Specialist


Community Engagement Specialist

consulting services

Sometimes you need an extra pair of hands. You can hire our team directly to lead or assist with community engagement for your projects. Our consulting services include:

Community Engagement Strategy Development

Engagement and Outreach Campaigns


Technology Support for Virtual Meetings

Partnership and Network Development

Meeting Design

Creative Engagement

Digital Town Meetings

We're excited to help out with your public participation efforts! To get started, email to set up a 30-minute consultation call.

workshops and trainings

Does your municipality, community development corporation, university, non-profit, or coalition want to improve its community engagement practice? We want to work with you! Our team offers the workshops below:

Contact us at to book a training!

Interested in learning about an aspect of community engagement that you don't see here? Reach out to us! We can work with you to provide a tailored workshop experience based on our desired focus and goals.

...and more

We offer even more than trainings and consulting services, including:

Proposal Development

We partner with municipalities, universities, and community organizations, and planning firms on a variety of public participation and creative projects. Looking to add us as a consultant on a project? We can help out with requests for proposals (RFPs), requests for quotes (RFQs), and grant proposals.


We provide equipment for rental for your engagement activities! Resources you can rent from our department include polling keypads, interpretation headsets and receivers, and a spinning wheel.


Downtown Framingham Small Business Tour

Downtown Framingham has become a hub for entrepreneurs from all over the world, with at least 20 different nationalities among its local business owners. But many immigrant business owners were disconnected from local government and fighting perceptions of Downtown Framingham as dirty and unwelcoming.

The tour created a space for participants from the public, private, and non-profit sector to connect around issues relevant to Downtown Framingham, including Town staff, the business community, service organizations, immigrant advocates, news media, developers, brokers, local colleges, and active citizens.

Over the course of two and a half hours, 55 town leaders came together to learn about the diversity of businesses in its downtown area and to hear the stories, challenges, and contributions of these entrepreneurs.

Downtown Lynn Visioning

Community Engagement was a critical component of MAPC's efforts to build on the vision for Downtown Lynn.

Community engagement efforts included assembling a team of advisors, conducting interviews with community leaders, giving presentations to community-based organizations, attending community events, collecting land use and property data using local volunteers, and hosting two public forums in Downtown Lynn.

Hybrid Engagement Hub: Navigating Together

Interested in offering hybrid meetings with opportunities for both online and in-person public participation? Learn more in our webinar series and other hybrid engagement resources.

Virtual Engagement Toolbox

A guide to digital engagement tools and methods that municipal staff can use to engage the public remotely. This document is intended as a resource and does not constitute an endorsement of any of these tools.

Group Agreements Guide

Group agreements are an essential part of any well-facilitated meeting, setting the tone and acting as a way to hold participants accountable in a shared conversation. Our guide describes how and when to use group agreements and makes specific recommendations for your meetings.

Community Engagement Recipe Book

A menu of community engagement tactics you can use for your project. Click through to learn about strategies such as focus groups, participatory budgeting, and more!

Shared Practices for Engagement in Virtual Meetings

This document and webinar assembles our top recommendations and shared practices for digital community engagement, before, during, and after your meeting.

Community Engagement Strategy

Use this chart to help think through your community engagement strategy, from your purpose to your approach.

Meeting Design Guidelines

Use this chart to design your meeting and help participants explore, share, connect, and reflect.

Members of the project team with certificates of recognition and poster of accomplishments. From left to right: Niri Kumar (Climate Liaison), Claire Rundelli (Natick Environmental Planner and Conservation Agent), Jillian Wilson-Martin (Natick Director of Sustainability), Cherelle Tillery (Climate Liaison), Shawn Luz (Framingham Sustainability Coordinator), and Emile Exilhomme (Climate Liaison)

Climate Emergency Communications in Metro West

August 29, 2023

Climate Emergency Communications in Metro West Written by Sharon Ron, Assistant Director of Public Health August 25, 2023 – The residents of Metro West were […]

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A photo of Quentin Palfrey speaking in the Grand Hall at Union Station, Worcester, MA at the Broadband and Digital Equity Summit.

It’s Time to Pay Attention to Broadband

July 7, 2023

It’s Time to Pay Attention to Broadband The Broadband & Digital Equity Summit in Worcester preceded a significant announcement by the Biden Administration to provide […]

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A close up photo of cement being paved by hand.

Community Liaison Model: An Emerging Best Practice for Community Engagement at the Intersection of Climate and Public Health

June 27, 2023

Community Liaison Model: An Emerging Best Practice for Community Engagement at the Intersection of Climate and Public Health Written by Julia Nassar, Clean Energy and […]

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A photo of "hands in" from the viewpoint of standing in a circle looking down.

How Do You Evaluate Equity in Community Engagement?

February 14, 2023

How Do You Evaluate Equity in Community Engagement?  Piloting a qualitative evaluation of equitable community engagement processes Written by Gloria Huangpu, Community Engagement Specialist Raise […]

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MAPC Launches “MetroCommon 2050: Shaping our Region Together”

May 6, 2022

Flanked by Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley, MA-07, and scores of public officials and stakeholders from across Greater Boston this week, the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) […]

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MAPC Releases Original Short Film “At Home”

July 12, 2021

At Home, an original short film that reveals the human side of the region’s housing crisis, is now available for viewing and sharing. Clocking in […]

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