Books and Tools

Beyond Public Meetings: Connecting Community Engagement with Decision-Making

By Vivien Twyford, Max Hardy, John Dengate and Stuart Waters (2006)

An essential guide to the fundamentals of community engagement.  Based on the premise that engaged communities make better informed and more sustainable decisions. it describes practical ways to go beyond public meetings, focus on desired outcomes, and engage communities in a positive and productive way.  It demonstrates through stories and case studies how democracy in the form of community engagement can be done, and what it feels like when it's done well.  A plain language book full of common sense and good practice.

Available for purchase from Twyford Consulting (Wollongong, Australia) in paperback or via download. Also available in the U.S. from ISBN 0646467204.

Mastering Meeting Management

Published by APA Education (CD-ROM, 2002).

Veterans of public meetings share their techniques and insights on how to run productive, effective meetings. Learn how to make legally defensible decisions, evaluate evidence, and keep public anger from disrupting your meetings. Panelists also explore how to encourage more diverse participation. Faculty: Daniel S. Iacofano, AICP, Chief Executive Officer, Moore Iacofano Goltsman Inc.; Robert P. Mitchell, AICP, Director, Town of Amherst, Massachusetts, Planning Department; Carol L. Swayne, Chair of the Bellevue, Nebraska, Planning Commission; Marya Morris, Senior Research Associate, American Planning Association; Moderator: Stuart Meck, FAICP, Senior Research Fellow, American Planning Association. 

Available at


Getting The Most Out of Public Hearings Ideas To Improve Public Involvement

A free pamphlet from the Institute for Local Government.


Public Hearings: When and How to Hold Them

By Bob Meinig, Municipal Research and Services Center (MRSC) of Washington legal consultant (August 1998).