Public participation and New Urbanism: a conflicting agenda?

Bond, S. and Thompson-Fawcett, M. (2007) Public participation and New Urbanism: a conflicting agenda? Planning Theory and Practice, 8(4), pp. 449-472.




The challenges to public participation in planning are numerous. Inclusive and equitable processes are recognised as an ideal in much planning theory and practice, yet this ideal is increasingly difficult to realise in today’s societies that comprise diverse and multiple publics. Within the wider sustainability debate, ‘New Urbanism’ has emerged as a pragmatic alternative to convention allow-density development. Concomitant with a range of prescribed physical outcomes, the New Urbanism movement advocates a process of ‘citizen-based participatory planning and design’. Charrettes, with urban design workshops, are the favoured tools for achieving this goal. However, it is argued that the adherence to a single type of participatory tool can be inconsistent with accepted ideals of participation processes and has several implications. Of particular concern is the role of the charrette planner or facilitator, a figure who has the potential to manipulate the public because of his/her inevitable allegiance to the New Urban agenda. In addition, the examination of a charrette process in a small New Zealand town raises several broader questions about the ability of the approach to address issues of inclusiveness and the recognition of difference, two fundamental elements of good participatory processes.

Item Type:Articles
Keywords:Participatory planning; inclusivity; New Urbanism; charrette
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Bond, Dr Sophie
Authors: Bond, S., and Thompson-Fawcett, M.
Subjects:H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD61 Risk Management
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Geographical and Earth Sciences
Journal Name:Planning Theory and Practice
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2007 Routledge
First Published:First published in Planning Theory and Practice 8(4):449-472
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher

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