Involving local communities in the design processes concerning their city or neighbourhood can play a role in creating responsive environments and achieving satisfaction of communities. Interaction between clients and professionals is essential to encourage the resolution of disputes at the design stage rather than once actions have been taken, since their different roles and expertise can enrich the process of interaction. This study supports the idea of a form of participation based on research in environmental experience and aims to generate a procedure for the involvement of local communities in urban renewal actions as an informed, organised and effective activity and then to apply this approach in praxis. Visual literacy is trained, and a combination of environmental assessment techniques and informative activities are linked to encourage community groups and professionals to work together on the development of observational and analytical skills and on the formulation of design solutions.