Town Planning Review

The emancipatory limits of participation in planning: Equity and power in deliberative plan-making in Perth, Western Australia

Town Planning Review (2010), 81, (1), 55–81.

Abstract

Communicative planning scholars often claim that forms of participatory planning centred on public deliberation can facilitate more equitable decision-making by overcoming power differentials between citizens and stakeholders. This paper draws upon the communicative planning understanding of Habermasian 'communicative action' in order to evaluate the argument that deliberation removes power differences between participants of participatory processes. A case study of a deliberative plan-making process – the Western Australian government's 'Dialogue with the City' – is undertaken to assess this claim. The author argues that there are both deliberate (avoidable, strategic) and inevitable (unavoidable, unintentional) ways in which power differences can arise between participants of deliberative plan-making. Planners who are charged with the responsibility of moderation may find it difficult to identify and mediate power differences in participatory processes; in fact, they may act to reinforce existing power relations.

Access Token
£25.00

 Google Scholar

 Google Scholar

 Google Scholar

ADLER, P. A. and ADLER, P. (1994), 'Observational techniques', in N. K. Denzin and Y. S. Lincoln (eds), Handbook of Qualitative Research, Thousand Oaks, CA, Sage, 377–92. 'Observational techniques' Handbook of Qualitative Research 377 92 Google Scholar

ALBRECHTS, L. (2003), 'Planning and power: towards an emancipatory planning approach', Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy, 21, 905–24. Planning and power: towards an emancipatory planning approach Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy 21 905 24 Google Scholar

ALBRECHTS, L. (2004), 'Strategic (spatial) planning reexamined', Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design, 31, 743–58. Strategic (spatial) planning reexamined Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design 31 743 58 Google Scholar

ALBRECHTS, L. (2005), 'Creativity as a drive for change', Planning Theory, 4, 247–69. Creativity as a drive for change Planning Theory 4 247 69 Google Scholar

ALEXANDER, I. (2000), 'The post-war city', in S. Hamnett and R. Freestone (eds) The Australian Metropolis: A Planning History, Sydney, Allen & Unwin, 98–112. 'The post-war city' The Australian Metropolis: A Planning History 98 112 Google Scholar

ALEXANDER, I. and GREIVE, S. (forthcoming) 'Metropolitan Perth: Strategic planning or strategic spin?', in I. Alexander, D. Hedgcock and S. Greive (eds), Planning Issues and Challenges for Western Australia: A Reader in Theory and Practice, Perth, Fremantle Press. Google Scholar

ALLMENDINGER, P. (2002), Planning Theory, Basingstoke, Palgrave. Planning Theory Google Scholar

BOHMAN, J. (1997), 'Deliberative democracy and effective social freedom: capabilities, resources, and opportunities', in J. Bohman and W. Rehg (eds), Deliberative Democracy: Essays on Reason and Politics, Cambridge, MA, The MIT Press, 321–48. 'Deliberative democracy and effective social freedom: capabilities, resources, and opportunities' Deliberative Democracy: Essays on Reason and Politics 321 48 Google Scholar

BOHMAN, J. (1998), 'Survey article: the coming of age of deliberative democracy', The Journal of Political Philosophy, 6, 400–25. Survey article: the coming of age of deliberative democracy The Journal of Political Philosophy 6 400 25 Google Scholar

BROWNILL, S. and CARPENTER, J. (2007), 'Participation and planning: dichotomies, rationalities and strategies for power', Town Planning Review, 78, 401–28. Participation and planning: dichotomies, rationalities and strategies for power Town Planning Review 78 401 28 Google Scholar

BRYSON, J. M. and CROSBY, B. C. (1992), Leadership for the Common Good: Tackling Public Problems in a Shared-Power World, San Francisco, CA, Jossey-Bass. Leadership for the Common Good: Tackling Public Problems in a Shared-Power World Google Scholar

BURBY, R. J. (2003), 'Making plans that matter: citizen involvement and government action', Journal of the American Planning Association, 69, 33–49. Making plans that matter: citizen involvement and government action Journal of the American Planning Association 69 33 49 Google Scholar

BURKE, E. M. (1968), 'Citizen participation strategies', Journal of the American Planning Association,34, 287–94. Citizen participation strategies Journal of the American Planning Association 34 287 94 Google Scholar

CAMPBELL, H. and MARSHALL, S. (2006), 'Towards justice in planning: a reappraisal', European Planning Studies, 14, 239–52. Towards justice in planning: a reappraisal European Planning Studies 14 239 52 Google Scholar

CARP, J. (2004), 'Wit, style, and substance: how planners shape public participation', Journal of Planning Education and Research, 23, 242–54. Wit, style, and substance: how planners shape public participation Journal of Planning Education and Research 23 242 54 Google Scholar

CARSON, L. and HARTZ-KARP, J. (2005), 'Adapting and combining deliberative designs: uries, polls, and forums', in J. Gastil and P. Levine (eds), The Deliberative Democracy Handbook: Strategies for Effective Civic Engagement in the Twenty-First Century, San Francisco, CA, Jossey-Bass, 120–38. 'Adapting and combining deliberative designs: uries, polls, and forums' The Deliberative Democracy Handbook: Strategies for Effective Civic Engagement in the Twenty-First Century 120 38 Google Scholar

CASTELLS, M. (1978), City, Class and Power, London, Macmillan. City, Class and Power Google Scholar

COHEN, J. (1997), 'Deliberation and democratic legitimacy', in J. Bohman and W. Rehg (eds), Deliberative Democracy: Essays on Reason and Politics, Cambridge, MA, The MIT Press, 67–92. 'Deliberation and democratic legitimacy' Deliberative Democracy: Essays on Reason and Politics 67 92 Google Scholar

COOKE, M. (2000), 'Five arguments for deliberative democracy', Political Studies, 48, 947–69. Five arguments for deliberative democracy Political Studies 48 947 69 Google Scholar

DRYZEK, J. (2000), Deliberative Democracy and Beyond: Liberals, Critics, Contestations, New York, Oxford University Press. Deliberative Democracy and Beyond: Liberals, Critics, Contestations Google Scholar

FAINSTEIN, S. S. (2000), 'New directions in planning theory', Urban Affairs Review, 35, 451–78. New directions in planning theory Urban Affairs Review 35 451 78 Google Scholar

FEW, R. (2001), 'Containment and counter-containment: planner/community relations in conservation planning', The Geographical Journal, 167, 111–24. Containment and counter-containment: planner/community relations in conservation planning The Geographical Journal 167 111 24 Google Scholar

FORESTER, J. (1989), Planning in the Face of Power, Berkeley, CA, University of California Press. Planning in the Face of Power Google Scholar

FORESTER, J. (1994), 'Bridging interests and community: advocacy planning and the challenges of deliberative democracy', Journal of the American Planning Association, 60, 153–58. Bridging interests and community: advocacy planning and the challenges of deliberative democracy Journal of the American Planning Association 60 153 58 Google Scholar

FORESTER, J. (1999), The Deliberative Practitioner: Encouraging Participatory Planning Processes, Cambridge, MA, The Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The Deliberative Practitioner: Encouraging Participatory Planning Processes Google Scholar

FLYVBJERG, B. (1996), 'The dark side of planning: rationality and Realrationalität', in S.J. Mandelbaum, L. Mazza and R.W. Burchell (eds), Explorations in Planning Theory, New Brunswick, NJ, Center for Urban Policy Research, 383–94. 'The dark side of planning: rationality and Realrationalität' Explorations in Planning Theory 383 94 Google Scholar

FLYVBJERG, B. (1998), Rationality and Power: Democracy in Practice, Chicago, IL, University of Chicago Press. Rationality and Power: Democracy in Practice Google Scholar

GAUS, G. F. (1997), 'Reason, justification, and consensus: why democracy can't have it all', in J. Bohman and W. Rehg (eds), Deliberative Democracy: Essays on Reason and Politics, Cambridge, MA, The MIT Press, 205–42. 'Reason, justification, and consensus: why democracy can't have it all' Deliberative Democracy: Essays on Reason and Politics 205 42 Google Scholar

GLEESON, B. and LOW, N. (2000), Australian Urban Planning: New Challenges, New Agendas, Sydney, Allen & Unwin. Australian Urban Planning: New Challenges, New Agendas Google Scholar

GOVERNMENT OF WA (2003a) 'Dialogue with the City: engaging the community to shape the face of Perth in 2031', Intersector, 9, Perth, Government of Western Australia. Google Scholar

 Google Scholar

GOVERNMENT OF WA (2004) A Voice for All: Strengthening Democracy: Western Australian Citizenship Strategy 2004–2009, Perth, Government of Western Australia. Google Scholar

HABERMAS, J. (1975), Legitimation Crisis, Boston, MA, Beacon Press. Legitimation Crisis Google Scholar

HABERMAS, J. (1984), The Theory of Communicative Action Volume 1: Reason and the Rationalization of Society, Cambridge, Polity Press. The Theory of Communicative Action Volume 1: Reason and the Rationalization of Society Google Scholar

HABERMAS, J. (1987), The Theory of Communicative Action Volume 2: Lifeworld and System: A Critique of Functionalist Reason, Cambridge, Polity Press. The Theory of Communicative Action Volume 2: Lifeworld and System: A Critique of Functionalist Reason Google Scholar

HANNA, K. S. (2000), 'The paradox of participation and the hidden role of information: a case study', Journal of the American Planning Association, 66, 398–410. The paradox of participation and the hidden role of information: a case study Journal of the American Planning Association 66 398 410 Google Scholar

HAJER, M. and WAGENAAR, H. (2000). 'Introduction', in M. Hajer and H. Wagenaar (eds), Deliberative Policy Analysis: Understanding Governance in the Network Society, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1–32. 'Introduction' Deliberative Policy Analysis: Understanding Governance in the Network Society 1 32 Google Scholar

HARRIS, N. (2002), 'Collaborative planning: from theoretical foundations to practice forms', in P. Allmendinger and M. Tewdwr-Jones (eds), Planning Futures: New Directions for Planning Theory, London, Routledge, 21–43. 'Collaborative planning: from theoretical foundations to practice forms' Planning Futures: New Directions for Planning Theory 21 43 Google Scholar

 Google Scholar

HARTZ-KARP, J. (2005), 'A case study of deliberative democracy: Dialogue with the City', Journal of Public Deliberation, 1 (electronic article from http://www.activedemocracy.net/articles/jhk-dialogue-city.pdf) Google Scholar

HEALEY, P. (1988), Land Use Planning and the Mediation of Urban Change: The British Planning System in Practice, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press. Land Use Planning and the Mediation of Urban Change: The British Planning System in Practice Google Scholar

HEALEY, P. (1993), 'Planning through debate: the communicative turn in planning theory', in F. Fischer and J. Forester (eds), The Argumentative Turn in Policy Analysis and Planning, London, UCL Press, 233–53. 'Planning through debate: the communicative turn in planning theory' The Argumentative Turn in Policy Analysis and Planning 233 53 Google Scholar

HEALEY, P. (1997), Collaborative Planning: Shaping Places in Fragmented Societies, Basingstoke, Macmillan. Collaborative Planning: Shaping Places in Fragmented Societies Google Scholar

HEALEY, P. (2003), 'Collaborative planning in perspective', Planning Theory, 2, 101–23. Collaborative planning in perspective Planning Theory 2 101 23 Google Scholar

HEDGCOCK, D. (1994), 'Planning the outward growth of Australian capital cities: Perth', Urban Policy & Research, 12, 124–33. Planning the outward growth of Australian capital cities: Perth Urban Policy & Research 12 124 33 Google Scholar

HEDGCOCK, D. and YIFTACHEL, O. (1992), 'Introduction', in D. Hedgcock and O. Yiftachel (eds), Urban and Regional Planning in Western Australia: Historical and Critical Perspectives, Perth, Paradigm Press, 1–16. 'Introduction' Urban and Regional Planning in Western Australia: Historical and Critical Perspectives 1 16 Google Scholar

HELD, D. (1987), Models of Democracy, Stanford, CA, Stanford University Press. Models of Democracy Google Scholar

HILLIER, J. (1993), 'To boldly go where no planners have ever …', Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 11, 89–113. To boldly go where no planners have ever … Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 11 89 113 Google Scholar

HILLIER, J. (2002), Shadows of Power: An Allegory of Prudence in Land-Use Planning, London, Routledge. Shadows of Power: An Allegory of Prudence in Land-Use Planning Google Scholar

HILLIER, J., YIFTACHEL, O. and BETHAM, M. (1991), 'Forum special: urban consolidation-an introduction to the debate', Urban Policy & Research, 9, 78–81. Forum special: urban consolidation-an introduction to the debate Urban Policy & Research 9 78 81 Google Scholar

HOCH, C. (1994), What Planners Do: Power, Politics, and Persuasion, Chicago, IL, Planners Press. What Planners Do: Power, Politics, and Persuasion Google Scholar

 Google Scholar

HUXLEY, M. (2000), 'The limits to communicative planning', Journal of Planning Education and Research, 19, 369–77. The limits to communicative planning Journal of Planning Education and Research 19 369 77 Google Scholar

INNES, J. E. (1996), 'Planning through consensus building: a new view of the comprehensive planning ideal', Journal of American Planning Association, 62, 460–72. Planning through consensus building: a new view of the comprehensive planning ideal Journal of American Planning Association 62 460 72 Google Scholar

INNES, J. E. (2004), 'Consensus building: clarifications for the critics', Planning Theory, 3, 5–20. Consensus building: clarifications for the critics Planning Theory 3 5 20 Google Scholar

INNES, J. E. and BOOHER, D. E. (1999), 'Consensus building and complex adaptive systems: a framework for evaluating collaborative planning', Journal of the American Planning Association, 65, 412–23. Consensus building and complex adaptive systems: a framework for evaluating collaborative planning Journal of the American Planning Association 65 412 23 Google Scholar

INNES, J. E. and BOOHER, D. E. (2004), 'Reframing public participation: strategies for the 21st century', Planning Theory and Practice, 5, 419–36. Reframing public participation: strategies for the 21st century Planning Theory and Practice 5 419 36 Google Scholar

KEMP, R., PARTO, S. and GIBSON, R. B. (2005), 'Governance for sustainable development: moving from theory to practice', International Journal of Sustainable Development, 8, 12–30. Governance for sustainable development: moving from theory to practice International Journal of Sustainable Development 8 12 30 Google Scholar

KRUMHOLZ, N. and FORESTER, J. (1990), Making Equity Planning Work: Leadership in the Public Sector, Philadelphia, PA, Temple University Press. Making Equity Planning Work: Leadership in the Public Sector Google Scholar

LANE, M. B. (2005), 'Public participation in planning: an intellectual history', Australian Geographer, 36, 283–99. Public participation in planning: an intellectual history Australian Geographer 36 283 99 Google Scholar

LUKENSMEYER, C. J. and BRIGHAM, S. (2002), 'Taking democracy to scale: creating a town hall meeting for the twenty-first century', National Civic Review, 91, 351–66. Taking democracy to scale: creating a town hall meeting for the twenty-first century National Civic Review 91 351 66 Google Scholar

LUKENSMEYER, C. J., GOLDMAN, J. and BRIGHAM, S. (2005), 'A town meeting for the twenty-first century', in J. Gastil and P. Levine (eds), The Deliberative Democracy Handbook: Strategies for Effective Civic Engagement in the Twenty-First Century, San Francisco, CA, Jossey-Bass, 154–63. 'A town meeting for the twenty-first century' The Deliberative Democracy Handbook: Strategies for Effective Civic Engagement in the Twenty-First Century 154 63 Google Scholar

MACTIERNAN, A. (n.d.), 'Dialogue with the City' (Minister for Planning and Infrastructure Website: www.ministers.wa.gov.au/mactiernan/index.cfm?fuseaction=consult.consult&consult=dialogue_city Google Scholar

MACTIERNAN, A. (2003a), 'Dialogue with the City – consulting the community on Perth's future' (Minister for Planning and Infrastructure media statement for 10 June 2003 www.mediastatements.wa.gov.au/media/ Google Scholar

 Google Scholar

 Google Scholar

MAGINN, P. J. (2007), 'Deliberative democracy or discursively biased? Perth's Dialogue with the City initiative', Space and Polity, 11, 331–52. Deliberative democracy or discursively biased? Perth's Dialogue with the City initiative Space and Polity 11 331 52 Google Scholar

MAIER, K. (2001), 'Citizen participation in planning: climbing a ladder?', European Planning Studies, 9, 707–19. Citizen participation in planning: climbing a ladder? European Planning Studies 9 707 19 Google Scholar

MOULAERT, F. and CABARET, K. (2006), 'Planning, networks and power relations: is democratic planning under capitalism possible?', Planning Theory, 5, 51–70. Planning, networks and power relations: is democratic planning under capitalism possible? Planning Theory 5 51 70 Google Scholar

METZGER, J. T. (1996), 'The theory and practice of equity planning: an annotated bibliography', Journal of Planning Literature, 11, 112–26. The theory and practice of equity planning: an annotated bibliography Journal of Planning Literature 11 112 26 Google Scholar

NEWMAN, J. (2001), Modernising Governance: New Labour, Policy and Society, London, Sage. Modernising Governance: New Labour, Policy and Society Google Scholar

PARKINSON, J. (2004), 'Why deliberate? The encounter between deliberation and new public managers', Public Administration, 82, 377–95. Why deliberate? The encounter between deliberation and new public managers Public Administration 82 377 95 Google Scholar

PURCELL, M. (2009), 'Resisting neoliberalization: communicative planning or counter-hegemonic movements', Planning Theory, 8, 140–65. Resisting neoliberalization: communicative planning or counter-hegemonic movements Planning Theory 8 140 65 Google Scholar

READE, E. (1987), British Town and Country Planning, Milton Keynes, Open University Press. British Town and Country Planning Google Scholar

RHODES, R. (1997), Understanding Governance: Policy Networks, Governance, Reflexivity and Accountability, Buckingham, Open University Press. Understanding Governance: Policy Networks, Governance, Reflexivity and Accountability Google Scholar

SANDERCOCK, L. (1975), Cities for Sale: Property, Politics and Urban Planning in Australia, Carlton, Melbourne University Press. Cities for Sale: Property, Politics and Urban Planning in Australia Google Scholar

SANDERCOCK, L. (1983), 'Who gets what out of public participation?', in L. Sandercock and M. Berry (eds), Urban Political Economy: The Australian Case, Sydney, George Allen & Unwin, 78–88. 'Who gets what out of public participation?' Urban Political Economy: The Australian Case 78 88 Google Scholar

SANDERCOCK, L. (1998), Towards Cosmopolis: Planning for Multicultural Cities, Chichester, John Wiley & Sons. Towards Cosmopolis: Planning for Multicultural Cities Google Scholar

STOKER, G. (1998), 'Governance as theory: five propositions', International Social Science Journal, 155, 17–28. Governance as theory: five propositions International Social Science Journal 155 17 28 Google Scholar

TAYLOR, M. (2003), 'Community participation in the real world: opportunities and pitfalls in new governance spaces', Urban Studies, 44, 297–317. Community participation in the real world: opportunities and pitfalls in new governance spaces Urban Studies 44 297 317 Google Scholar

TEWDWR-JONES, M. and ALLMENDINGER, P. (1998), 'Deconstructing communicative rationality: a critique of Habermasian collaborative planning', Environment and Planning A, 30, 1975–89. Deconstructing communicative rationality: a critique of Habermasian collaborative planning Environment and Planning A 30 1975 89 Google Scholar

THROGMORTON, J. A. (2003), 'Planning as persuasive storytelling in a global-scale web of relationships', Planning Theory, 2, 125–51. Planning as persuasive storytelling in a global-scale web of relationships Planning Theory 2 125 51 Google Scholar

WAPC (WESTERN AUSTRALIAN PLANNING COMMISSION) (2004), Network City: Community Planning Strategy for Perth and Peel, Perth, Government of Western Australia. Google Scholar

YIFTACHEL, O. (1988), 'The role of the state in metropolitan planning: the case of Perth, 1930–1970', Urban Policy and Research, 6, 8–18. The role of the state in metropolitan planning: the case of Perth, 1930–1970 Urban Policy and Research 6 8 18 Google Scholar

YIFTACHEL, O. (1991), Theory and Practice in Metropolitan Planning: The Case of Perth, Perth, Curtin University of Technology. Theory and Practice in Metropolitan Planning: The Case of Perth Google Scholar

YIFTACHEL, O. (1998), 'Planning and social control: exploring the dark side', Journal of Planning Literature, 12, 395–406. Planning and social control: exploring the dark side Journal of Planning Literature 12 395 406 Google Scholar

YIFTACHEL, O. and HEDGCOCK, D. (1992), 'Theoretical perspectives on Perth's changing urban form', in D. Hedgcock and O. Yiftachel (eds), Urban and Regional Planning in Western Australia: Historical and Critical Perspectives, Perth, Paradigm Press, 149–61. 'Theoretical perspectives on Perth's changing urban form' Urban and Regional Planning in Western Australia: Historical and Critical Perspectives 149 61 Google Scholar

YIFTACHEL, O. and HUXLEY, M. (2000) 'Debating dominance and relevance: notes on the "communicative turn" in planning theory', International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 24, 907–13. Debating dominance and relevance: notes on the "communicative turn" in planning theory International Journal of Urban and Regional Research 24 907 13 Google Scholar

YOUNG, I. M. (1990), Justice and the Politics of Difference, Princeton, NJ, Princeton University Press. Justice and the Politics of Difference Google Scholar

YOUNG, I. M. (2001), 'Activist challenges to deliberative democracy', Political Theory, 29, 670–90. Activist challenges to deliberative democracy Political Theory 29 670 90 Google Scholar

If you have private access to this content, please log in with your username and password here

Details

Author details

Hopkins, Diane