Town Planning Review

Limits to new public participation practices in local land use planning

Town Planning Review (2002), 73, (3), 311–331.

Abstract

A key objective of new participatory practices in local affairs is to increase public trust in civic institutions. Debate surrounds the extent to which collaborative approaches to planning and decision making are capable of giving precedence to the concerns of the public or of promoting trust in local institutions. The paper draws on public experience of new participation practices associated with the development control process to determine whether new participation practices moderate or reinforce public distrust of local institutions. It finds that the political realities of the planning system serve to reproduce existing structures of power that do little to overcome public distrust either among groups who have traditionally taken an active role in local affairs, or new participants recruited into the process.

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Author details

Bedford, Tracey

Clark, Judy

Harrison, Carolyn