Community Engagement

MAPC Hybrid Meetings Survey

We're working to develop recommendations for post-pandemic virtual and hybrid meetings. Your responses to this short survey will help us develop this guidance.

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.

The community engagement team, like the rest of the MAPC staff, is working from home due to the pandemic. But we're still available to help you plan your virtual events and virtual engagement activities!

Our Values

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

Upcoming Events

1:00 pm Exploring Together: Navigating H... @ Zoom Conference
Exploring Together: Navigating H... @ Zoom Conference
Nov 17 @ 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm
Exploring Together: Navigating Hybrid Engagement Session 4 @ Zoom Conference
Session 4 Policies & Open Meeting Law Updates Wednesday, November 17 | 1 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. As the world continues to adapt in the continued wake of a global pandemic, we are emerging into an[...]

Stay Updated

Sign up for our newsletter for community engagement tips and resources, and to keep up with what we're doing!


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

July 20, 2017. Boston, MA.
MAPC staff photos.
Metropolitan Area Planning Council.
© 2017 Marilyn Humphries

Co-Director of Strategic Initiatives

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

Community Engagement Manager

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

Community Engagement Specialist II

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

Planner & Community Engagement Specialist II

Sasha Parodi

Events & Special Projects 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.

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.

March Data Viz: The Online Municipal Meeting Pivot

March 1, 2021

Every month, MAPC’s Data Services department is releasing maps and data visualizations covering a range of vital and interrelated topics: equity, housing, transportation, climate, arts […]

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It’s Time to Embrace the Virtual Meeting for the Long Haul

February 26, 2021

It’s Time to Embrace the Virtual Meeting for the Long Haul Nearly a year ago, in a matter of just a few weeks, government agencies […]

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Inclusionary Engagement: Lessons from Next Stop Revere

February 1, 2021

Inclusionary Engagement: Lessons from Next Stop Revere Written By: Iolando Spinola, Community Engagement Specialist II Revere, Massachusetts is a city of immigrants, founded on waves […]

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Storytelling to Capture Community Cohesion

January 27, 2021

Storytelling to Capture Community Cohesion When the MAPC team started a small business plan for the City of Quincy in 2019, we turned first to […]

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Moving Our Democracy Forward: Virtual Town Meetings

January 5, 2021

Moving Our Democracy Forward: Virtual Town Meetings Since the COVID-19 pandemic hit the Greater Boston region in early March, municipalities have been at the center […]

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