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Community profiling
Community profiling involves building up a picture of the nature, needs and resources of a
community with the active participation of that community. It is a useful first stage in any community
planning process to establish a context which is widely agreed.
 A range of methods are used to enable the community to develop an understanding of
■ The methods combine group working and group interaction techniques with
data collection and presentation techniques.
■ The focus is on methods which are visual in order to generate interest and make the
process accessible to the illiterate and those unused to verbal communication.
■ The results are in the public realm. Reports include as many of the words, writings and
pictures of local people as possible.

“The benefit of using this method is the diverse number of people who can work together
and still achieve an outcome which involves everyone.“
Pat Jefferson, Carlisle City Council
Community profiling methods
# Activity chart. Plotting people’s activities each day, or each week. Useful for understanding
divisions of labor, roles and responsibilities in a community.
# Building survey. Recording the state of repair of buildings.
# External relationship profiling.
Examining the roles and impact of external organizations.
# Gender workshop. Separate sessions for women (or sometimes men) to analyse their situation,
needs and priorities.
# Historical profile. Identifying and listing key events, beliefs and trends in a community’s past and
their importance for the present.
# Household livelihood analysis.
Comparing sources of income and support with expenditure patterns and looking at coping
strategies for times of hardship.
# Informal walk. Walking in a group without a definite route, stopping to chat and discuss issues as
they arise. (Reconnaissance trip)
# Mapping. Making maps showing various characteristics, i.e. resources.
# Organization review. Review of existing groups and organizations to assess their roles, membership,
plans and potential.
# Personal history. Recording detailed oral accounts of individuals’ lives, perhaps asking them to emphasize
specific issues.
# Problem tree. Analyzing the inter- relationships among community issues and problems using a graphic
based on a tree# Role play. Adopting the role of others and acting out scenarios. (Gaming)
# Seasonal calendar. Exploring changes taking place throughout the year, e.g. in work patterns,
# Semi-structured interview.
Conversational open discussion using a checklist of questions as a flexible guide instead of a formal
questionnaire. Different types include; individual, group, focus group, and key informant.

# Simulation. Acting out a real event or activity in order to understand its effect.
# Skills survey. Assessing skills and talent in a community.
# Transect walk. Systematic walk through an area to observe and record key features, for instance land use
zones. (See also Reconnaissance trip)
# Well-being or wealth ranking. Assessing levels of well-being of different households using pile sorting.

Low income

Low soil

Problem tree
Erosion Deforestation
Mapping is an effective non-verbal way of finding out how people view their area. It is
a good way to gather and present site-specific data, understand differences in
perception and stimulate debate as a basis for joint planning.
Individuals or groups create physical maps of their neighbourhood or city using pen
and paper, lines in the sand, cloth, chalk or other materials to hand.
 A framework or theme is normally provided to focus people’s thoughts, e.g. places you
visit frequently, landmarks, boundaries, places you dislike, things you would like to see
 The maps are discussed and analyzed as a basis for understanding differing
viewpoints and planning what should be done.
 Records of maps and debates are made for future reference.

 Using tracing paper to build up layers can be useful, getting different information on
each layer
 Mapping the same thing at different times is a good way of monitoring
Group mapping process
Decide what the map or maps should show (e.g. land use, hazards, resources, mobility, social
facilities) and the best display method.
Gather people who know the area and are willing to share their knowledge. Decide whether to work
individually or in groups.
Place and materials
Choose a suitable place (ground, table, wall) and materials (sticks, stones, seeds, pencils, felt-tips,
Map making
Facilitators might help people get started but then withdraw.
Presentation of maps. Discussion on comparisons and lessons drawn. Notes of discussion made on
flipchart or in notebook.
Make a record of the maps on A4 paper for later use and/or take photos.
Use the maps to start developing proposals.
Map types and uses
Activity map
Shows where people do things, which places they visit. Useful for planning future
Art map
Aims to be a work of art for displaying at exhibitions, making into postcards and so on.
Hazard map
Shows vulnerability to natural or environmental hazards and identifies risks and
capacities. Useful for disaster mitigation.
Land use and resources map
Shows what happens where.
Mental map
Shows how people perceive their area (as opposed to being geographically accurate).
Useful insight into perceptions.
Goals Summary
Every community is defined, among other things, by community design. Community design
not only creates a visual identity for a community but also ensures a healthy quality of life of
residents. There are seven examples of major community design goals that stand out as
important to enhancing community identity:
 Strengthen sense of place;
 Enhance major arterials;
 Accommodate growth while maintaining a small town character;
 Build a vibrant Town Center;
 Improve design quality in residential neighborhoods;
 Design vibrant commercial centers; and
 Guide quality industrial and business park development.

GOAL No. 1
Create a unified and attractive community identity within the context of diverse
neighborhoods and land uses.
•Continue to designate primary and secondary entry points for gateway monumentation into the City.
•Incorporate the City logo in public spaces and public facilities.
•Identify, preserve and enhance view corridors of major landmarks, community facilities and natural
open space in the planning and design of all public and private projects.
•Continue to identify opportunities to incorporate public art in conjunction with redevelopment and
capital improvements projects.
•Pursue unifying streetscape elements for major corridors, including coordinated streetlights,
landscaping, public signage, street furniture and hardscaping.
•Ensure that the design of all public facilities fits well into its surroundings and incorporates symbolic
references to the City.
Enhanced Arterial Corridors
City's image is largely determined by the quality of its streetscapes. The
role of the City’s major arterials, however, goes beyond that of
appearance alone. Their successful revitalization and the different yet
complementary role that each one plays in a particular city future is the
backbone of the City’s physical planning. The three most prominent
corridors are Base Line, the Rizal Avenue , Magsaysay Drive, Gordon
Avenue . Sample map or diagram on the next slide shows the functional
relationship between these important arterials.
Base Line. Enhancements to Base Line are crucial to the City’s visual and economic
revitalization. This major roadway passes through the Town Center and contains most of the
City’s commercial development.

However, its lack of unifying streetscape elements and large number of vacant lots create an
incoherent image and increase the perceived scale of this already wide arterial. Consistent
landscaping and street furniture, along with consolidated development on vacant parcels will
produce a more attractive, finished appearance to the corridor. Channeling more
concentrated commercial development to key intersections and introducing high quality,
mid-block residential development here will also meet housing needs and improve the
economic vitality of retail development and the Town Center.
Mid-block residential development along Base Line will incorporate richly detailed
architecture and contribute to an attractive and pedestrian-friendly street
environment. This can be accomplished through design guidelines that encourage
residential developments with a neighborhood scale and appearance, orientation
towards the street, recessed or alley loaded parking and landscaped parkways.