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Consulting: Community Engagement and Technical Assistance

Pomegranate Center designs and facilitates public forums, conferences, and town meetings that assist communities in their efforts to identify the concerns and ambitions they hold in common.

We are often called upon when contentious differences prevent groups from defining shared goals.  Over the years we have developed methods that were shaped by dozens of planning projects where we discovered that, unless measures are put in place, processes are derailed by obstructionists and “nay-sayers” who dominate the proceedings.  We also discovered a growing discontent among citizens willing to be productive and constructive, whose ideas were either ignored or unheard.  In response, we always seek to create conditions where participants are expected to be at their best.  We ask them to uphold ground rules that increase civility, creativity and collaboration. In addition, we developed practices that balance inclusiveness with decisiveness, allowing all voices to be heard in a few well-crafted meetings.

As an independent nonprofit dedicated to community-driven design and building, Pomegranate Center has a national reputation for turning potentially explosive situations into productive processes with lasting results. Pomegranate Center’s expertise has been used by cities (Kent, Shoreline, Burien, Seattle, Issaquah, Chattanooga, Calgary), agencies (Parks Departments, Economic Development Departments, FEMA, US Department of Energy), schools and other non-profit organizations (American Institute of Architects, environmental groups, and arts organizations) to name a few.

To inquire about having Pomegranate Center consult on your project, please contact our office at (425) 557-6412 or email

  • King County Parks and Recreation, Seattle, WA – community engagement training and mentoring, 2015
  • Three Cedars Waldorf School, Bellevue, WA – meeting facilitation, school community design and build process, 2014-15
  • U District Open Space Forum, Seattle, WA  – parks update plan, meeting facilitation, 2014
  • PopTech Resiliency Conference, Brooklyn, NY – Conference planning and facilitation, 2013
  • Rainier Beach Urban Farm and Wetlands, Seattle, WA – Strategic Planning session for the Board of Directors, 2013
  • East Hill Revitalization Plan, Kent, WA – developing community-owned goals for the future, 2012
  • Riverton Heights Park Plan, SeaTac, WA—involving community in reclaiming a decommissioned school site, 2010
  • Integrated Community Sustainability Plan, Grand Forks, British Columbia, Canada, 2007-08
  • South Park Gathering Place, Seattle, WA—developing a design for a community space, 2007-08
  • Issaquah Highlands Town Center, Issaquah, WA—arts plan for a 14 acre town center, 2007-08
  • Pedestrian and Bicycle Trails Plan, City of Burien, Washington, 2003-04
  • Town Square Plan, City of Burien, Washington, 2002
  • Creative City, Ottawa, Canada—one day symposium on the role of the arts and creativity in shaping the city, 2002
  • U.S. Department of Energy, facilitated a goal-setting session to identify design options for the future in the wake of persistent floods, West Virginia, 1998
  • U.S. Department of Energy, FEMA, American Institute of Architects, led goal-setting sessions to identify environmental and cultural priorities for a new town design, Missouri, 1994
  • Chattanooga Venture, Tennessee, coordinated city-wide forums resulting in greater commitment to a sustainable future, 1991-93