About Plan NH

In the 1980s, a group of architects came together with an idea. They wanted to create a way for architects to talk with non-architects – like landscape architects, planners, interior design folks and even engineers, historic preservationists and others who cared about the built environment, community design, and their impact on towns and neighborhoods across New Hampshire. And so Plan NH was born, officially in 1989. 

Today, we are a 501(c)3 organization, with a still-growing membership of planners, designers, builders, and others. We have a mission to “foster excellence in planning, design and development of New Hampshire’s built environment” and a vision of vibrant communities across the state.

Plan New Hampshire, The Foundation for Shaping the Built Environment (Plan NH) is a 501(c)3 organization founded in 1989. 

About Charrette Image

Illustration courtesy of the Plan NH Charrette in Candia, NH (2003)


Plan NH champions principles and ideas that balance what we build, where we build and how with:

Plan NH People Icon

Needs of People

The needs of people – where they live, how they get about, what services are necessary, what they value.

Plan NH Tower

Sense of Place

Maintaining the “sense of place” of our towns, cities and villages that makes them unique.

Plan NH Leaf

Needs of Environment

Protecting our air, water, flora and fauna.

Smart Growth

Plan NH fulfills its mission through promoting Smart Growth and other sustainability principles via

Charrettes Picture

Charrette program

The Community Design Charrette program – an exercise in which local citizens and Plan NH volunteers come together to explore potential solutions to planning or design issues in individual New Hampshire towns.

Merit Awards

Recognition of outstanding examples of work that reflects Plan NH’s Mission through a Merit Awards program.

Merit Awards 2020
Scholarship & Fellowship

Scholarships & Fellowships

Scholarship & Fellowship awards that support students from New Hampshire who are studying in a field related to Plan NH’s Mission.


The InvestNH Municipal Planning & Zoning Grant Program offers financial assistance to communities looking to expand local housing options.



Plan NH cannot do its work alone.

Besides the many, many volunteers, members and financial supporters in the organization that make our programs happen, Plan NH has good relationships with New Hampshire Housing, UNH Cooperative Extension, the NH Planners Association, AIA-NH, the Granite State Landscape Architects, NH Preservation Alliance, Workforce Housing Coalitions, AARP, the Endowment for Health, and more.

Plan NH is a member of the NH Center for Nonprofits, Smart Growth America, Strong Towns, the NH Planners Association and the NH Preservation Alliance. Plan NH also serves on the steering committee of NH Alliance for Healthy Aging, is on the editorial board of AIA-NH’s Forum and is a member of the 2019 Housing We Need Roundtable.