Planning for Stronger Local Democracy




As a culmination of NLC's work over the last decade responding to the challenges of governing democratically, NLC's democratic governance project presents Planning for Stronger Local Democracy: A Field Guide for Local Officials.

This tool kit is designed to assist city leaders in strengthening local democracy by cultivating a culture with their citizens and key allies that is transparent and inclusive with shared responsibilities and mutual accountability for addressing and solving problems.

Learn practical strategies that lead to a stronger local democracy. Part 1, Key Questions to Ask About How to Engage the Public, guides you through an examination of the strengths, weaknesses and history of the citizen-government relationship in cities. It includes models of practices from pioneering city leaders, their staff and democratic governance practitioners from around the country. Part 2, Developing Shared Civic Infrastructure, lays out a collaborative process for constructing a better framework for public engagement.

      Download the full toolkit! 


Or distribute the various elements of this guide to the city leaders, city staff and community leaders who are working to strengthen local democracy in your community. 

Front Matter

  • Forward & Acknowledgements

Part 1: Key Questions to Ask about How to Engage the Public  

Key Questions

Part 2: Developing Shared Civic Infrastructure

Creating Spaces for Citizens
Building Skills and Capacity
Improving Public Decision-Making and Problem Solving

Appendix and Resources