Build One Portsmouth is about coming together as a community to shape our future. This two-year planning process will result in an updated Comprehensive Plan for the city.

Build One Portsmouth is designed to be inclusive, transparent and robust. The goal is that every person in Portsmouth knows it is a choice to get involved and have their voice heard. Throughout the process there will be multiple opportunities to get involved including workshops, meetings, open houses, and online activities. What are your ideas for building a better future for Portsmouth?

This plan will address how we…

  • BUILD our resiliency
  • BUILD our economy
  • BUILD our amenities
  • BUILD our civic engagement
  • BUILD our families
  • BUILD our neighborhoods

The Process

Build One Portsmouth will last through the summer of 2018.

Research and Analysis.

Analysis of the data and information, including an evaluation of existing conditions, forecasted population, housing, and employment trends. Goals and objectives of the current plan will also be evaluated.

Planning Framework.

Establishing the structure and themes for the development of the Plan Update. This will be strongly based on the Key Findings generated during Research and Analysis. Participation from the public will be critical in this phase to help affirm and develop the vision for the city, create guiding principles, and identify both geographic and thematic priorities.

Draft Plan Recommendations.

Writing and creating the images, graphics, and maps for the Plan. This phase will be dedicated to the preparation of the Plan document to provide actionable recommendations. The document will be designed to be concise, interactive, and user friendly to illustrate preferred concepts.

Plan Completion.

Conduct the public and official review of the Plan, collect comments, make edits and revisions based on staff, planning commission and council direction, and prepare the final Plan documents.

Why should you participate?

This is important.

Planning for our future is very important. If you like Portsmouth just the way it is, you should care because change is always happening. If you want aspects of the community improved, you should also care enough to help identify what needs to be addressed.

This is a special opportunity.

This is a special moment in time for the community and it won’t come around again for a number of years. You won’t want to miss out on participating. Now is the time to come together to make Portsmouth an even better place than it is today.

It’s your community. You are the expert.

We need your ideas, your input and your feedback to ensure that this Comprehensive Plan update reflects the values of our community.

Who is involved?

Outreach Team.

Process and outreach

The Outreach Team is a diverse group of community members. Each Team member has access to large networks of people and will work to spread the word about this unique opportunity to get involved. This group will be active throughout the process inviting people to the public meetings, workshops and other events.


Input and feedback

Widespread public involvement is vital to Build One Portsmouth’s success. A number of in-person workshops and online tools will offer a variety of ways for the community to give input throughout the 24-month process. The first public event, the Focus on the Future Workshop, was held on November 10, 2016. Additional opportunities at involvement will be in February of 2017.


Targeted input

Various stakeholder groups will be convened to inform specific aspects of the Plan. These groups include business leaders, civic leagues, real estate professionals, and developers, education professionals, students, young professionals, and industry representatives among others.

City staff.


City staff will support and help to coordinate the work of all other groups and will also provide local knowledge and expertise to each element of the Plan.

Elected officials.


The Planning Commission will officially oversee the Plan update, and will provide extensive feedback throughout the process. The final plan will be formally adopted by Planning Commission and City Council, who will have a central role in its implementation.


Process leadership, expertise

The consultant team brings together expertise and national experience in public engagement, technical planning, sustainability and resiliency planning.

  • McBride Dale Clarion: Project Management and Comprehensive Planning
  • Clarion Associates: Plan Implementation
  • Kimley-Horn & Associates: Mobility Planning
  • Planning NEXT: Visioning and Public Engagement
  • The Miles Agency: Communications and Outreach
  • TischlerBise: Fiscal Impact and Market Analysis
  • Dr. David Godschalk, UNC Chapel Hill: Sustainability
  • Mr. James Fox, NEMAC at UNC Asheville: Resiliency and Sustainability Decision Support