Heart & Soul

Creating a blueprint

That sets The stage

for better planning.

We offer programs and tools that engage diverse groups of residents in collaborative discussions and decision-making driven by what they love most about their town.

Success Stories

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Town of Essex and Village of Essex Junction, Vermont

The Town of Essex and the Village of Essex Junction are overlapping municipalities grappling with how their futures fit together. Governing boards, committees and municipal services coordinate to varying degrees, and yet for more than 50 years, residents of the two municipalities have debated the merits of merging or separating....

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Polson, Montana

Polson retains the charm and benefits of a rural Western town, but has not enjoyed the same growth or resort status of neighboring areas. It is a community rich in opportunity and in the strength of its people, but has not thrived economically since the homesteading and timber shipping days of the early to mid-1900s. Residents of...

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Gardiner, Maine

Gardiner, Maine is a little city with big potential. With a historically intact downtown, rich natural and cultural assets, and proximity to the state capital and the Maine Turnpike, the city is well-positioned to create a bright future for its residents and business owners. Local partners are undertaking a visioning process that...


How it works

Community Heart & Soul® is a field-tested approach to community planning and development.  The method is outlined in 11 steps, each with a short list of specific tasks. The steps are organized into four phases that lead to specific milestones, actions, and results.
Learn the Heart & Soul Method »


Hit the ground running

A deeper look into the practice of Heart & Soul™, with field-tested guides to our signature methods, handy checklists, actual examples and templates from our Heart & Soul towns—even practice scripts for community organizing. Check out all the downloadable resources »