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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.

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

Stay Updated

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

Questions?

To discuss how your project can benefit from our community engagement expertise, contact the Community Engagement team at communityengagement@mapc.org.

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 I

Sasha Parodi

Event Planner

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

Facilitation

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 commmunityengagement@mapc.org 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 communityengagement@mapc.org 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.

Equipment

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.

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.

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