Town Planning Review

Citizen input in urban heritage management and planning: A quantitative approach to citizen participation

Town Planning Review (2008), 79, (4), 371–394.

Abstract

This article discusses why and how to take local citizens, and their values, into account in urban heritage management and planning. It includes an analysis of the relation between a traditional instrumental rational view on planning and a communicative planning ideal. With a starting point in economic theory, urban heritage is analysed as an infrastructure and a public good. Mail surveys directed to inhabitants in two Swedish municipalities further illustrate how urban heritage can be discussed as a public good, and what implications that has for involving citizens in heritage management and planning. Citizen participation as traditionally conceived includes active citizens taking part in a direct way in planning discussions, i.e. by means of qualitative approaches. However, direct participation is especially difficult to accomplish concerning public goods and infrastructures. The article concludes that there are good reasons to increase and develop citizens' input in heritage management, and that the public good characteristics of urban heritage beg for quantitative analysis. Thus, a quantitative approach to citizen participation has the potential to complement qualitative ways of involving citizens in planning.

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Olsson, K.