Community Planning: Websites A - Z
  • introduction
  • criteria
  • suggestions

An annotated selection of the most useful websites on community planning.

See also Contacts A-Z and Case Studies sections where additional weblinks are provided.

If you know a website that should be listed here, or want to suggest changes to the annotations, please contact the site editor Nick Wates for further details..

All sites listed are in English unless indicated.

Emphasis on websites providing:
  1. community planning information complementing this website,

  2. gateways to closely related subject areas, regionally and internationally

Make a suggestion for inclusion in this A-Z listing:

Please contact the site editor Nick Wates for further details.

Websites A-Z

To print out a selection from the list check the tickbox for the chosen entries and then click on any of the printer icons or click here to print all

Last updated on: 16 November 2009

Aarhus Convention
Official site of the Convention for Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters. Hosted by United Nations Economic Commission for Europe which acts as Secretariat.

Active Democracy
Provides access to information which individuals, groups or organisations can use to enhance citizens' involvement in the activities of local, state or federal government. Run by Lyn Carson, lecturer in applied politics at the University of Sydney, Australia.

Adaptation and Resilience in the Context of Change Network (ARCC)
Brings together researchers and stakeholders involved in adaptation to technological, social and environmental change in the bult environment and infrastructure sectors. Useful resources on designing for future climates, for instance overheating in buildings. 

America Speaks
Engaging citizens in the public decisions that impact their lives. Useful info on 21st Century Town Meetings. See also Contacts AZ.

An Inconvenient Truth
Probably the most comprehensive and well communicated information available on climate change. By and about Al Gore and his campaign.

Answers to the Carbon Economy ACE
Project which seeks to find practical and economic solutions at three levels: individual businesses; business to business; Business parks. 

Architecture Centres Network
Website of UK architecture centres network. 

Architecture Sans FrontiŔres-UK (ASF)
UK registered charity which teaches and does participatory community development projects. Provides support to local people so that their ideas, aspirations and skills can improve their neighbourhoods - be this a slum in Brazil or a housing estate in Birmingham.  Has international teaching programme which supports these projects and creates the next generation of architects with the skills to empower people and reduce poverty.

Art Vulups
Art as a vehicle to understand land use planning and sustainability. Interesting California-based project supported by the American Planning Association.

Article 25
UK registered charity that designs, builds, and manages projects to provide better shelter wherever there is disaster, poverty, or need. Provides built environment professional expertise and works alongside aid organisations, NGOs, and communities around the world.

Champions and promotes practical, local energy solutions that cut carbon, protect the environment, reduce poverty and improve people\'s lives. Runs several award schemes to promote ground-breaking ideas. 

Association of Town Centre Management ATCM
Membership organisation dedicated to helping town and city centres realise their natural roles both as prosperous locations for business and investment, and as focal points for vibrant, inclusive communities. Members are primarily public private partnerships from across the UK as well as both public and private sector stakeholders.

Big Lunch
Website for an initiative to stimulate annual get-togethers for neighbours.

Brainstorming made simple
An internet version of brainstorming. 

Carbon Independent
Information on carbon dioxide emissions. Includes a personal carbon calculator.   

Carbon Leapfrog
Supports communities and social entrepeneurs actively engaged in climate change mitigation. Range of useful case studies. Business-led charity. 

Cardboard Citizens
Practitioners of Forum theatre. Changes the lives of homeless and displaced people through theatre and the performing arts.
Social change platform. Website which enables anyone anywhere to start a petition. 

CIC Association
Association for Community Interest Companies. Free membership provides access to information about an evolution of social enterprise that is changing the way people do business in the UK. 

Civitas Elan Citizen Engagement Shelf
Links to documents and websites with information related to citizen participation in the field of mobility (transport). Compiled for partners in a European Union project but useful for others too. 

Cohousing Network UK
Promotes the awareness and development of cohousing and provides support to forming and established cohousing communities. Useful website. 

Common Ground
Environmental arts charity linking people and place. Expertise on parish mapping and community orchards and campaigning for Local Distinctiveness. Lovely publications: books, posters and cards.

Community 21
Social networking and neighbourhood planning tool for sustainable low carbon communities. Includes community led planning toolkit. Created by Action in Rural Sussex and the University of Brighton. 

Community Almanac
Where people can share stories about the heart & soul of the places in which they live. US based. Created by the Orton Family Foundation and the Open Planning Project.

Community Design Exchange
Information exchange for community design. Explore what other projects do and learn from their experience. Share stories. Discuss. Site managed by the Open University and Glass-House Community led Design, London. 

Community Energy Online
Community energy portal for the UK government Department of Energy and Climate Change. Includes case studies.

Community Knowledge Hub
Online home for Community Managed Libraries. Supporting the exchange of ideas, knowledge and expertise to realise the benefits of community enterprise.

Community Land Trusts Network
Resource to assist people ‘develop community land trust solutions for affordable housing, amenity and workspace’. Useful sample documents and publication downloads. Aimed at UK audience.

Community led planning
Resource for community led planning based on experience from rural communities in the UK. Includes a toolkit which provides step by step guidance for communities wanting to produce a holistic plan that will improve the wellbeing and sustainability of their neighbourhood. Web-based resource comprising free downloadable Information and Topic Sheets plus additional Advice and Resource sheets available to members of the Rural Community Action Network. Edited by Phillip Vincent.

Community Matters
Online network of leaders, thinkers and doers established by the Orton Family Foundation. (See Contacts A-Z for UK organisation with same name.)

Community Planning Toolkit
Website resource aimed at the community and voluntary sectors in Northern Ireland. Produced prior to legislation being introduced in 2015 by Community Places with support from the Big Lottery Fund. 

Community Resilience
Website of a Community Interest Company providing a range of services to the public sector aiming to help communities cope with disasters.

Community resilience: resources and tools
Online resources to enable individuals, communities and organisations that support them to take part in emergency preparedness activities. Provided by UK government. Includes guides and toolkits with templates for local use. 

Community Rights
UK Government website with information about the Community Rights which enable local communities to take more control over their areas. The Rights to Bid, to Build, to Challenge and to create a Neighbourhood Plan.

Community Tools Software
Free web-based software for managing location-based community activities and communication. Map based. 

Complete Recycling News
Volunteer run website with free information about recycling. Produced by the Community Resource Network, a National UK umbrella body for community-based, not-for-profit and co-operative waste management groups which work in reduction, re-use and recycling. 

Consultation Institute
Aims to help all those engaged in public or stakeholder consultation absorb Best Practice, encourage innovation and improve its value to decision-makers whilst providing opportunities for professional networking. Membership structure.

Context Sensitive Solutions
The US transportation communitys Online Resource Center for Context Sensitive Solutions

Crowd Wise
Dedicated website for a method for taking shared decisions developed by the New Economics Foundation. 

UK fundraising platform for creative and social projects

Portal and networking site for planners, planning students, and others interested in shaping the built environment of their communities. Includes busy message board, image gallery, planning and urbanism-related blog feed aggregator, wiki, and feature articles.  US based, with international user base.

De stad is 30 minuten groot
Public engagement website for Amsterdam, Netherlands. In Dutch. 

Design quality indicator (DQI)
All about Design quality indicators, a process for evaluating design quality of buildings which can be used by everyone involved in the development process.

Development Bookshop
Online bookshop run by Practical Action Publishing. Material on all aspects of development and appropriate technology including community participation.

Digital Democracy
Website that helps you to start and gain support for campaigns and also to identify the priorities of your local community. Based on UK postcodes. 

Worldwide portal of job and career opportunities for environmental professionals and technicians.

East Anglia Offshore Windfarm Zone
Online consultation example. Proposals for an offshore windfarm in the North Sea off the coast of Norfolk, UK. 

Eastgate Quarters
Online consultation example. Proposals for a major retail-led development in central Leeds, UK. 

ELTIS - the urban mobility portal
European Local Transport Information Service. Facilitates exchange of information on urban mobility in Europe. Supports the creation of urban transport systems which use less energy and produce less emissions. Tools, case studies, news and more. 

Energy Cities
European association of local authorities inventing their energy future. Website has proposals for the energy transition of cities and towns. 

Energy Saving Trust

A key website for anyone interested in saving money and reducing energy consumption. Comprehensive and clear information on insulation and heating, renewable energy, recommended products and funding from grants and supplier offers.

Brings people together in person and online to source, use and even generate renewable energy. UK oriented. 

Thorough and attractively designed practical local guide on community engagement. By Dacorum Borough Council, Hertfordshire, UK. Pdf downloadable from

Engaging Places
Online guide to using buildings and places for learning. Aimed at schools and trainers. Includes lesson plans and teaching resources. 

Project to provide young people with the opportunity to make a difference. 

European Community Development Network
Website of a non-governmental European umbrella organisation which brings together partners from a dozen countries both inside and outside of the European Union. 

European Urban Knowledge Network (EUKN)
Shares knowledge and experience on tackling urban issues. A portal to information on 15 member states urban policy initiatives and the parties involved.

Cell phone voting platform. 

Fame (Framework for Multi-Agency Environments)
On-line partnership development toolkit aimed at supporting the transformation of multi-agency or partnership working in local government in order to provide better public services.

Fix My Street
Site which sends on your reports of local maintenance problems (eg broken streetlight) to the relevant authorities and monitors whether they get fixed.

Forum for Neighbourhood Planning
Supports people and communities using new powers under the Localism Act 2011 to create neighbourhood plans. Contains forums on a range of topics and links to resources. Managed by Planning Aid England, Royal Town Planning Institute. 

Free Online Surveys
Online survey platform. 

Google Maps
Online world map which users can add photos and other data to and customise for specific projects. 

GOPP Moderators Association
Website for people who facilitate or moderate Goal Oriented Project Planning (GOPP) activity. The Association is registered in Belgium as a non-profit international association.

Green Map System
A global eco-cultural movement, creating local maps that chart the natural and cultural environment. Aims to cultivate citizen participation and community sustainability in hundreds of places around the world.

Green Streets
information on 14 community energy projects from a competition  run by  British Gas in partnership with The Institute for Public Policy Research in 2010-11. other case studies and ‘how to do it’ guides.

Website on the importance of green space. Includes a greenstat visitor survey system, which records users views of their local parks and green spaces and makes the information available to those who manage them (UK only).

Housing the Urban Poor
Regional resources for urban housing programmes developed by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP). Aimed at governmental and non-governmental policy makers and operational officials. Includes series of useful downloadable Quick Guides. 

I Wish This Was
Neat method for getting people to think about building uses by placing stickers on them.

IDeA Knowledge
Website of the UK Improvement and Development Agency for local government (IDeA). Helps local authorities improve their communication with residents and other stakeholders. 

Online crowdsourcing and ranking of ideas. 

International Association for Public Participation (IAP2)
Resources to help organizations and communities around the world improve their decisions by involving the people affected by those decisions. 

International Association of Facilitators (IAF)
Dedicated to growing facilitators and encouraging the use of group process methodologies world-wide.

International Network for Urban Research and Action (INURA)
Links activists, community organisers, academics and researchers across the world (though mainly in Europe). Publications and networking.

Jefferson Center
All about Citizens Juries. Worldwide news, history, a handbook,  projects, links. The Jefferson Center originated the citizens jury process which is trade marked in the USA but not elsewhere.

Ketso is a hands-on kit that enables people to think and work together better. It can be used to plan a project, neighbourhood, landscape, or business; gain feedback on a policy or strategy or inform decisionmaking. The website includes a User Guide with hints and tips for running an effective workshop and case studies of community planning.

A funding platform for creative projects.

King's Cross Railway Lands Group
Current campaigns and archive of a 20-year central London development saga.


Supports the development of ecovillages in West Wales. Lammas has planning permission for an ecovillage in Pembrokeshire (called Tir y Gafel) which has been designed using a model that can be replicated across Wales. It combines a traditional smallholding with the latest innovations in environmental design, green technology and permaculture. 

The Land is Ours
Campaigns peacefully for access to the land, its resources, and the decision-making processes affecting them, for everyone, irrespective of race, gender or age. Planning office campaigns for a planning system which actively encourages sustainable, low impact and affordable homes.

Connects those who have land to share with those who need land for cultivating food.

Find others going your way so that you can car-share together. Save money, cut your carbon and have fun! Great for both drivers and passengers.

Local Development Network
Informal European network to bring together knowledge and people on Local Development (LD). Website provides a forum for sharing information and knowledge. 

12 video interviews on localism perspectives. Set up by communications consultancy PPS.

Low Carbon Communities Network

Encourages the adoption of low carbon and zero carbon technologies and lifestyles at a community level, and helps groups engaged in this to be as effective and efficient as possible.

Low carbon hub
Exchange of information about low carbon initiatives in Oxfordshire, UK. 

Manage Energy
Technical support initiative of the Intelligent Energy - Europe (IEE) programme of the European Commission. Aims to assist actors from the public sector and their advisers working on energy efficiency and renewable energy at the local and regional level. Potential source of funding for community energy initiatives

Mapping for Change
Social enterprise that supports the development of sustainable communities by providing participatory mapping services to communities, voluntary sector organisations, local authorities and developers.

Meanwhile Project
Project promoting and supporting temporary uses of empty property and land. Website has case studies and further info. 

Cell phone voting platform.

My Community Rights
Resource on the rights introduced by the UK Localism Act: The Community Right to Build; Community Right to Bid; Community Right to Challenge. Run by Locality.    

My Community Space
Specialist premises website for the community and voluntary sector which provides a facility for those either seeking or wanting to advertise a space. FAQ service on community premises and useful links directory.

My Neighbourhood Plans
Provides online mapping services for neighbourhood planning in England. Managed by Stanfords Business Mapping and supported by several partners including Ordnance Survey, the Planning Advisory Service and

National Charrette Institute (NCI) (USA)
Contains explanations, toolkits and other resources for planning and running a Design Charrette.

National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation (NCDD)
Website for a loose-knit community of practitioners, researchers, activists, artists, students, and others who are committed to giving people a voice and making sure that voice counts. US based.

National Community Land Trusts Network UK
A resource to assist people ‘develop community land trust solutions for affordable housing, amenity and workspace’. Useful sample documents and publication downloads. Aimed at UK audience.

National Community Land Trusts Network USA
Umbrella organisation supporting the work of community land trusts across the United States.

National Flood Forum
National UK charity dedicated to supporting and representing communities and individuals at risk of flooding.  By:
1. Helping people to prepare for flooding in order to prevent it or mitigate its impacts
2. Helping people to recover their lives once they have been flooded
3. Campaigning on behalf of flood risk communities and working with government and agencies to ensure that they develop a community perspective.
Useful practical guidance on website.

Neighborhood Planning
Great website which provides a universal historical and intellectual context to neighbourhood planning.  

Website aiming to bring more people into the development process by promoting a simple engagement method where people publicly declare - on name badges, window stickers and on the website - what they want for their neighbourhood. Based in New Orleans, USA, and spreading. Site may be under construction (2013). 

Neighbourhood Planner
Interactive mapping tool showing progress of neighbourhood planning in England. Public and professionals can modify their own neighbourhood planning data. 

Neighbourhood Planning group on LinkedIn
Lively group with over 1,500 members, mostly practitioners.

Neighbourhood Planning Introduction
Official information web page from the Department for Communities and Local Government

Neighbourhood planning online community
Space to discuss, share and learn about neighbourhood planning. Posts, events, resources, news. Managed by Locality. 

Neighbourhood Planning Toolkits & Guidance
Listing of resources on neighbourhood planning compiled by the UKs Design Council based on information collected by a LinkedIn group. 

Neighbourhood planning: early practice
Sets out what the Planning Advisory Service has learned from discussions with officers from the neighbourhood planning first and second waves of front runner councils held in July 2011.

Neighbourhoods blog
Blog by UK consultant Kevin Harris exploring neighbourhood relations, citizenship, social capital and space and place. Aims to inform understanding of what makes a viable neighbourhood. 

NGO Another Way
Promotes a model for self-financing, ecological, sustainable, local integrated development projects for the worlds poor.

Open Street Map
The free wiki world map. Created by users who can contribute data and produce their own maps.

Our Places
Platform for neighbourhood planning groups. Create a community, mark its boundaries and upload photos and documents.  

Participate in Design
Student led initiative to explore and promote community involvement in design in Singapore. 

A collaborative catalogue for online tools for participation (often referred to as tools for web-based engagement, online participation, e-participation, e-consultation, online dialogue, online deliberation etc.).

Participation Compass
Provides practical information for those working to involve people. Includes methods, case studies, news, library, events listing, advice service and a process planner. UK based and oriented. Run by Involve. Based on the website People and Participation. 

Participation in the production of social housing
Blog built by Mariana Enet to disseminate research on design, participatory planning and evaluation of habitat programs for poverty in Argentina. In Spanish.

Participation Works
Online gateway to the world of children and young peoples participation. Policy, practice, networks and information from across the UK. Run by the Children and Young Peoples Participation Partnership (CHYPP).

Participation, Power and Social Change Team, IDS
Seeks to create knowledge, to encourage learning and action, and to understand processes of social change that can shift power relations in favour of greater social justice. Networks and publications.

Participatory Avenues
Focal point for sharing lessons and innovation in community mapping and participatory Geographical Information Systems (GIS) as a means to add value and authority to people's spatial knowledge and improve bottom-up communication.

Participatory Budgeting UK
Shares information on participatory budgeting experience within the UK and around the world.

Participatory Design
Portal providing free access to all papers published in Participatory Design Conferences since the first one was held in 1990. Includes link to forthcoming conferences.

People and Participation
Provides practical information for those working to involve people. Includes methods, case studies, news, library, events listing, advice service and a process planner. UK based and oriented. Run by Involve and funded by Communities and Local Government. 

Petition Your Council
Site which helps you to send and view petitions to your local council. UK only.

Place Matters
A living laboratory where a US network of creative practitioners come together to learn, share, inspire and seed innovation in place, collectively elevating the art and science of planning for vibrant and sustainable communities. An initiative of the Orton Foundation.

The Place Station

Introduces owners of land and buildings across the UK to social and community entrepreneurs with ideas for transforming their local area - providing a space where people can:

  • Search for land and buildings
  • Add a Place they would like to see owned and managed by the community
  • Add an Idea for transforming local services
  • Propose new uses for available land and buildings
  • Comment on and offer to support an Idea or Proposal for a Place
  • Find pro-bono supporters where they live to put their Ideas and Proposals into practice


Showing how spaces make places. A hub for connecting the placemaking industry. It lets you show people interested in placemaking spaces you have created... it lets you publish anything else you have seen and like.

Online user guide for the Placecheck method for assessing the qualities of a place, showing what improvements are needed, and focusing people on working together to achieve them.

Public-interest information exchange for the urban planning, design, and development community. US oriented.

Suite of resources including the website, films and a resource pack to support communities and groups planning for low carbon living. Website includes useful sections on community engagement, the planning system and low carbon communities. 

Planners Network
Association of progressive planners. Useful publications, papers, contacts. US and Canada based.

Planning Advisory Service
Helps local authorities provide better quality planning services. Website useful for all those involved in planning, especially neigbourhood planning.

Planning Help
How you can use the planning system to protect the countryside and promote urban regeneration. A project of the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE), a registered charity.

Planning Portal
One-stop shop for UK planning resources online. Can be used to learn about planning and building regulations, apply for planning permission, find out about development near you, appeal against a decision and research government policy.

Planning Tool Exchange
Online hub for tools, resources and organisations in community planning. USA oriented. Published by the Orton Family Foundation and now accessed through their main website. 

Poll Everywhere
Cell phone and web voting platform.

Public Debate, France
Website of the Commission for Public Debate (CNDP) in France. Full details of the initiative. French only.

Public Decisions
Interactive online training courses on public involvement and community engagement.

Public Participation Geographical Information Systems Research
Site developing and testing new ideas of participation focused on Geographical Information Systems (GIS) to enhance public involvement and participation in environmental planning and decision making processes. Based at the Department of Planning and Landscape, University of Manchester, UK.
On-line guide to what works in neighbourhood renewal in the UK. Includes how-to guides, case studies, project summaries, jargon buster and more. Managed by the UK GovernmentÔ??s Neighbourhood Renewal Unit.

RUDI - Resource for Urban Design Information
Excellent independent web resource on urban design and placemaking. Contains up-to-date material needed for research, proposal preparation, commissioning projects, fact-checking and general reference.

Scottish Sustainable Communities Intiative
information on the Scottish Government Charrette Mainstreaming Programme. Includes downloadable event reports and links to further sources of information.
Resource for people wanting to know about shared ownership housing schemes whereby you part own and part rent your home.

Shelter Housing Insights for Communities
A resource for facilitating targeted engagement with local communities on housing development in the UK. Based on real data.

Shepham Wind Farm
Online consultation example. Proposal for a small windfarm development at Polegate, East Sussex, UK. 

Sirolli Institute Online Campus
Find out about Enterprise Facilitation

Snetterton Biomass Plant Consultation
Online consultation example. Proposal for a renewable energy biomass plant in Norfolk, UK. 

Crowdfunding platform for creative projects in Europe.

Strategic Environmental Assessment Information Service
Gateway to the latest information on Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) and Sustainability Appraisal (SA)

Survey Monkey
Free and paid online surveys and polling. 

Sustainable Building
Resource for sustainable development in the UK.á

Sustainable Communities Online
Website developed by a broad coalition of organisations in the US to pool information on sustainability and make it more accessible to the public. 

Sustainable Community Action Wiki
Collaboratively constructed site which seeks to link up community action for sustainability worldwide.

Sustainable Energy Academy
Promotes education and action to reduce the carbon footprint of buildings and communities.

Talk About Local
Aims to give people in their communities a powerful online voice so that people can communicate and campaign more effectively to
influence events in the places in which they live, work or play.

UK site for timebanks; a way for people to come together to help others and help themselves at the same time. Participants \'deposit\' their time in the bank by giving practical help and support to others and are able to \'withdraw\' their time when they need something done themselves.

Toolkit Citizen Participation
A database of case studies of participation in local decision-making. International. Managed by the Toolkit Participation Partnership, a group of civil society (NGO) and local government organisations from all over the world, working together to promote participatory local governance. French, Spanish.

Transition towns wiki
Network set up to support TransitionTowns Initiatives around the world.

Turning Point
Keypad polling provider. 

UKLI Land News
Interesting resource guide on Land News, Research Reports and Articles. UK only.

United Kingdom Climate Projections (UKCP09)
Provides climate information designed to help those needing to plan how they will adapt to a changing climate. The data is focussed on the UK, and is free of charge. Website managed by United Kingdom Climate Impacts Programme (see Contacts A-Z).

Upgrading Urban Communities
Resource for communities including tools and resources

UVic Community Mapping Collaboratory
Project at the University of Victoria, Canada, exploring ways in which communities can use mapping. 

Viking Energy
Online consultation example. Proposals for a large windfarm development on the Shetland Islands off Scotland. 

West Stratford
Online consultation example. Masterplan for  a development of new homes, a relief road, a new primary school, a new park open to the public and other improvements to the west of Stratford upon Avon, UK

Woodland Trust
Woodland conservation charity. Website includes a neighbouhood planning hub focusing on the need to include trees in local planning. 

The Workhome
Resources for designers and legislators promoting the construction of places that can be used for both living and working. Home-based work is a popular, family-freindly, environmentally sustainable practice which is good for the enconomy and for cities. 

World Cafe
Online resource on this method of engaging people.

World Habitat Awards
Site for international award scheme for practical, innovative and sustainable solutions to current housing needs and problems. Includes useful case study database of past winners and finalists.