Marton and Bulls are to get a seven-day makeover. The transformations start in Marton on February 8 and Bulls on February 1.
About 25 people are involved in each town, Rangitikei District Council spokeswoman Carol Downs said.
The Creative Communities project is headed by Australian urban designer David Engwicht.
Mr Engwicht has more than 25 years' experience in "creative place making" and has worked with small communities throughout New Zealand.
He has been described as one of the world's most inventive thinkers on creating vibrant public spaces.
He's called his work "breathing new life into dead spaces".
On the website he said participants will learn on Monday and Tuesday what makes great places work. Following discussions and planning, the actual makeovers will take place over a weekend.