Town Planning Review

Where to lean the ladder of participation: a normative heuristic for effective coproduction processes

Town Planning Review (2020), 91, (2), 109–132.


Participation has largely been seen as a ‘good thing’ since the Skeffington report, but has faced continuing critique in the spatial-planning literature. We propose a normative heuristic for coproduction processes that has emerged from twenty-five years of ‘punctuated reflective practice’, arguing that building shared ‘maps’ of knowledge for change is a critical foundation for effective coproduction. Furthermore, this has the potential to help mitigate some of the enduring critical challenges of power inherent in participation. The heuristic blends learning from several contexts, including health and environmental planning, reflecting spatial planning’s ambitions to work with and across multiple sectors.


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Author details

Tippett, Joanne

How, Fraser