Programming the Planning Process

1 day
Participatory Activity
Toolbox Themes
  • ParticipationInclude diverse stakeholders, sectors, and perspectives to improve and make more inclusive the urban planning process and results.

In a participatory session, define the activities and work plan for the urban planning process, according to the context, objectives, and available physical, human, and financial resources.

  • Definition of the toolbox activities and workplan that will be carried out to develop the plan, according to the local context, objectives, and available human, physical and financial resources.

  • Preliminary plan work plan


Programming the planning process is a collaborative session to create alignment between stakeholders and define the roadmap of the urban planning process, according to the planning objectives and the capacities of the local government and the potential partners and stakeholders. Specifically, it aims to assess the project constraints such as time, budget, internal capacities, stakeholder engagement, and territorial ownership, and to select the activities of the Our City Plans methodology that will be conducted.

The T4 Self Assessment Guide includes a series of guiding questions that help the technical team to define the planning objectives, focus areas, and priorities of the plan and to support a further discussion to align all the stakeholders' ambitions for the urban planning process. 

The session is divided into three main moments. Firstly, the group defines the context of the urban planning process, including the project's objective, key challenges and opportunity, urban area of interest, and crucial partners and stakeholders that should be involved along the process. Secondly, a questionnaire is included to guide the selection of activities to be developed according to the issues to be addressed, the components of the Assessment phase and the type of plan to be developed, the results and all the phases, blocks, and activities in the toolbox, and the cross-cutting thematics areas that need to be integrated. Finally, they evaluate and discuss the available resources, in terms of time, budget, internal capacities, territorial jurisdiction, and stakeholder engagement, and select the final activities and tools to prepare a preliminary work plan. 

Additionally to the  T4 Self Assessment Guide , the team can directly use the Toolbox page to filter activities by thematic area, and also bookmark those that are selected to conform the programmed planning process. Additionally, each Activity page includes functionalities for project management, such as changing the status of each activity (pending, in progress, completed) -which can be viewed in the activities toolbar- and adding personalized notes and links.

This activity can take place in two stages. First, the preliminary project team defines, based on the knowledge of the context and objectives, the roadmap for the planning process. Then, there is a validation moment with key stakeholders, such as the planning process sponsors, political leaders, and municipal officials. It is important to include in this activity decision-making representatives, political champions, potential investors or donors, stakeholders with high levels of power and affinity to the project, and potential opponents of the project, as it is a moment of alignment between the different actors to agree on the objectives of the planning process and how to carry it out.

Throughout the planning process and the use of this toolbox, it is important to reflect on what works and what can be improved for the next time, as well as which activities and tools need to be modified and adapted according to the context and requirements. To this end, the last activity of Phase 4 Implementation: Incremental Improvements to the Planning Process (Activity 58) includes a guide to reflect on and document improvements that can be applied to the process and methodology.

This activity should be conducted by the preliminary project team and other key stakeholders such as the planning process sponsors, political leaders and municipal officials. Particularly, it is important to include decision-making representatives, political champions, potential investors or donors, stakeholders with high levels of power and affinity to the project, and potential opponents of the project.


1. Review and follow the workshop guidelines in the T7 Workshop Checklist tool.

2. Use the T6 Self-Assessment Guide tool and T0 Our City Plans Roadmap to have a discussion and agree on common objectives and activities to be undertaken during the planning process. 

3. Set out the schedule of activities for the planning process.

4. Develop a work plan including all the activities to be carried out and define a tentative timeline (T8 Work Plan Template).

5. Present the results to key stakeholders for feedback and/or validation. This can be done through a workshop (Prepare the workshop session using T7 Workshop checklist).

Suggested agenda:

An agenda of the workshop should be presented by the team leader and made available for all participants to understand the development of the session. The time, length of each exercise, and content are adjustable to the cultural context and the availability of the participants.

08.30Opening by the Mayor or the project manager followed by an introduction of each participant
09.00Plenary Session 1: Context of the urban planning process and city plan’ objectives
09:45 Open discussion
10.00Coffee break
10.15Plenary Session 2: Questionnaire
11.00Open discussion
11.15 Plenary Session 3: Assessing resources
12.00Open discussion 
13.00Lunch break
15.00Plenary Session 4: Work plan
16.00Consolidate results and closing remarks