Municipal planning

Agreement upon what should characterise our future municipality is hard to come by. Different and often conflicting interests meet and must be resolved in municipal planning. In collaboration with Hol Municipality, we have developed et foundation for dialogue and discussion of most issues every municipality must consider. The objective is to ensure active involvement and communication as a basis for enlightened and constructive discussion. 

Established process with flexible content

The dialogue mat serves as a process and management tool for meetings on various topics in the municipality’s agenda. After a warm-up exercise, selected topics are discussed by evaluating relevant statements. 

The participants first conduct an individual assessment, before statements are discussed in groups. The purpose is to discuss both supporting arguments and counterarguments for relevant issues in order to foster a greater comprehension of diverse perspectives. 

Using Hol Municipality as an example, their meetings focused on environmental preservation, business development, and construction. These topics are relevant for all municipalities, but other topics are highly possible to implement and adjust without changing the established process and academic model. 

Pathways to influence

Hol Municipality experienced high levels of influence from social media, where discussions around the future of the municipality was discussed and debated, often in closed forums. Instead of engaging in a democratic discussion and debate, messages were repeated and reinforced through various digital channels. An important part of the discussion during the municipal meeting was to discuss which platforms are relevant to influence the target group. In this discussion, the municipality had the opportunity to present the planning process to participants within the target group. This helped participants gain a better understanding of the formal processes and possible methods for influence.

Parts of the discussions were also captured using the digital platform Diggle, for two main purposes:

  • To enable the municipality to capture important data and information that can be further utilised in the planning process.
  • To enable live results, and to demonstrate for all present parties that their thoughts and ideas were captured, considered and appreciated.

At each stage of the process it was possible to make suggestions and discuss perspectives that had not been considered in the pre-produced material. This gave the process more legitimacy, as it addressed both issues the municipality itself had identified as important, and gave the participants the opportunity to address issues that the municipality had not yet considered.


As the discussion topics on the dialogue mat are completely customisable, there is great flexibility in terms of time use. It is possible to generate good discussions on one topic, including introduction and plenary reflections, within the timeframe of one hour. Using Hol as an example again, they chose to include three topics, in addition to a brief run through of the municipal plan. The timeframe for the public meeting at Hol was four hours, from 6 PM to 10 PM.

Adjustments or facilitation?

If relevant, we can assist with designing statement sheets and area maps. Prices are based on our standard hourly rates, in accordance to the agreement we decide upon with the client. The format for these elements is A3, meaning they can be produced on a normal printer.

If relevant, we can also customise the dialogue mat itself, both in terms of design and content. Prices are based on our standard hourly rates, in accordance to the agreement we decide upon with the client. Additional fees related to production and print will occur.

We can also contribute with facilitation, both in the planning and implementation phase. Our senior consultants have extensive experience with process management, and can help facilitate both with and without the dialogue mat. We will create an detailed agenda adapted to your needs, take charge of the technical aspects of the implementation and session, and run the dialogue mat process.

Standard daily rates:

Senior Consultant/Partner: 14 000 NOK + VAT

Junior Consultant: 10 000 NOK + VAT

Standard hourly rates:

Senior Consultant/Partner: 1875 NOK + VAT

Junior Consultant: 1100 NOK + VAT

Designer: 1600 NOK + VAT


Would you like to use this dialogue mat? Please contact us to discuss prices and possibilities for customisation.