Following an inquiry by Holyrood's Local Government and Regeneration Committee, it was found those who live in the most deprived areas of the country find it difficult to consult on town regeneration plans.
The MSPs also claimed the current funding landscape was unclear and called for all local authorities to employ a dedicated community support officer to spearhead local projects.
Committee convener Kevin Stewart MSP said the Scottish Government should look to involve residents in such practices if they are to deliver truly effective, long-lasting outcomes.
He said: "Regeneration is not just about buildings, it is about community, which is central to improving lives of the people of Scotland.
"But all too often it seems that the community are not given a voice in what is happening to them.
"We have seen many, many years of regeneration in Scotland and all of this has had the best of intentions of reducing deprivation and inequality.
"What is needed now to deliver the vision is clear leadership as well as collaboration and co-ordination from all those involved."
During the course of the inquiry, the committee travelled to areas such as Govan in Glasgow and Ferguslie Park in Paisley to hear first-hand what residents had experienced during regeneration projects.
The MSPs also visited other communities such as Maybole in South Ayrshire, Abronhill in Cumbernauld, the Whitfield scheme of Dundee and Aberdeen's Seaton area.
Mr Stewart said: "We heard time and again when we met in locations across Scotland that communities have little or no involvement in the work being undertaken.
"But for regeneration to be truly and lastingly effective it has to be done by people rather than [be] something which is done to them."