Participation and reason in spatial planning small


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The the second lecture of the series 'Governance for Urbanism', where I contrast two terms relevant for spatial planing and design. In this presentation, i contrast 'Participation' and 'Reason'. This lecture presents the fundamental philosophical arguments for participation in urban development, discusses the relevance and meaning of participation and gives examples of tools.

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Participation and reason in spatial planning small

  1. 1. Photo by Sarah Cass at FlickrGovernance for UrbanismParticipation andReasonPrepared by Roberto RoccoChair Spatial Planning and Strategy, TU Delft SpatialPlanning &Strategy Challenge(the(future
  2. 2. SpatialPlanning &Strategy
  3. 3. This is the second lecture onGovernance for Urbanism, in whichI present a contrast of tworelevant terms for spatial planningand design of the built environment.
  4. 4. In the first lecture, Icontrasted ‘justice’ and‘property’ **See the lecture on JUSTICE X PROPERTY by clicking HERE
  5. 5. Here, I contrast‘participation’ and‘reason’
  6. 6. This lecture is based mainlyon Lehtonen (2011), Fainstein(2000) and Harvey (2008)See complete list of references at the end.
  7. 7. I YouIf we assume that...Knowledge is INTER-SUBJECTIVE and ithappens between two ormore reasoning beings
  8. 8. It is easy to assume thatKnowledge is communicative, thatis, only through communicationcan we achieve knowledge that isrelevant or ‘usable’ or even TRUE
  9. 9. But why isthat so? Photo by Sarah Cass at Flickr
  10. 10. Knowledge needs to be explained inorder to become tangible ,transmissible and verifiableEven EXPERIENTIAL KNOWLEDGE(acquired by experience or LEARNING BYDOING) needs to materialise into actions,things or words that then need to bediscussed and measured against otherknowledge in order to become operational inthe physical world.
  11. 11. Otherwise One kno can wha ww nev t on heth er kno e ha er wle s is dge true pur or j e fa ust ncy Photo by Sarah Cass at Flickr
  12. 12. Remember that...Knowledge that exists only inyour mind is IRRELEVANT!Because it is not operating in the world!
  13. 13. It is more than validationIt is not only about validating your knowledge.Communicating your knowledge will make itEXIST in the world and BE USEFUL.Communicating knowledge will also CHANGEYOUR knowledge, YOU and the person you arecommunicating WITH.
  14. 14. The ultimate testAre the others! Photo by Sarah Cass at Flickr
  15. 15. Photo by Sarah Cass at Flickr
  16. 16. But what (the hell)does this have to dowith spatial planningand urban design?
  17. 17. If we acknowledge that urbanplanners and designers arepart of complex systems ofgovernance
  18. 18. Like so Civil Private Society Sector Civil PublicCoalitions Sectorbetween sectors Public Urban planners Sectorand within sectors & Designers
  19. 19. And if we then assume that...Urban planning and designing areinter subjective activities, where it isall about understanding the wishesand aspirations of multiple stakeholders to help them achieve THEIRobjectives...
  20. 20. ...while promoting prosperity,public goods, equal distributionof spatial opportunities andavoiding negative externalities
  21. 21. Then we must conclude that anyproject or spatial interventionneeds to have some degree ofparticipation of those stake holders
  22. 22. This means that individualor sectorial needs andwishes must be articulatedinto plans and designs thatmaximize the common good
  23. 23. is th isW hy at ic ?problem Photo by Sarah Cass at Flickr
  24. 24. There are no neutral or purely ‘technical’parameters or agents in urban development. Alldecisions in urban development are politicaldecisions, including yours(although you will certainly guide them bytechnical, ethical, aesthetic, economic and otherparameters)
  25. 25. Urban development lieswithin the realm ofpolitics, interests andnegotiations. Knowledgeand power are side byside, like in everythingelse.
  26. 26. But then, there isPhoto by Sarah Cass at Flickr REASON
  27. 27. And most speciallyCOMMUNICATIVEREASON
  28. 28. guiding decisions by technical,ethical, aesthetic, economicand other parameters is partof reasoning
  29. 29. By saying that spatial planning and design are ‘political’ activities we mean that there are choices to be made in a societal arena: these choices are made by active agents based on their values and interestsPhoto by Sarah Cass at Flickr
  30. 30. Values like Social Justice and DemocracyPhoto by Sarah Cass at Flickr
  31. 31. Or greed and individualismPhoto by Sarah Cass at Flickr
  32. 32. The problem is that not everyone has a voice in urban development. Some agents are more vocal (powerful) than others..Photo by at Flickr
  33. 33. Not everybod y has access to relevant knowledgePhoto by Sarah Cass at Flickr
  34. 34. orse e of W le dg no w ered ek s id ll: th is c on t i s ot s ro up ri sn eg an to s om v as r ele zed ir og ni r ec ge led kn owPhoto by Sarah Cass at Flickr
  35. 35. ChildrenYoung girl by CubaGallery at Flickr
  36. 36. MothersPregnant woman by IzdelavaVabil at Flickr
  37. 37. HomelessHomeless man in Tokyo by theeruditefrog at Flickr
  38. 38. ImmigrantsDiversity in the workplace, available at
  39. 39. in addition!
  40. 40. “People don’t onlywrite history, theybuild spacesWAGNER, C. 2011. Spatial Justice and the City of São Paulo. masters, Leuphana University.
  41. 41. According to David Harvey:The Right to the Cityis not only the right toinhabit the city.It is the right to shapeliving environmentsto one’s needs andwishes.HARVEY, D. 2008. The Right to the City. New Left Review. New Left Review.
  42. 42. Articulating theknowledge of differentgroups does not meanabsolute relativism
  43. 43. Absolute relativism: This is an extreme form of relativism which asserts that all truths are equal and completely dependent upon some external or contextual factors.Source: Post-modernist dictionary at And this is postmodernism!
  44. 44. It also does not mean that allknowledge is valid or relevantBy the way, ‘knowledge’ is different fromneeds, wishes or even objectives (e.g. IKNOW that having a big car is bad forthe environment, but I WANT to have abig car because it is a symbol of status)
  45. 45. In order to create knowledgeabout the direction to takeand where to invest in thecommon interest, theremust be communicationand we can facilitatecommunication bypromoting PARTICIPATION
  46. 46. Participation therefore means giving avoice to those who are generally silent,ultimately redistributing power Some rights reserved by Ibai Lemon at Flickr
  47. 47. also is isT h n as Y k now AC C R M O D E Photo by Sarah Cass at Flickr
  48. 48. Participation is more......than asking people what they want.It is also about explaining, collectingideas, debating and putting differentstakeholders (NGOs, firms, associations)together in order to engage them andfacilitate their working together
  49. 49. Communicative turn in planningIt is the recognition ofdifferences in theidentity and knowledgebase of people and theresulting need topromote participationand give a voice to theformer silent groups Photo by Sarah Cass at Flickr
  50. 50. It is about recognizing that... 1.All forms of knowledge are socially constructed 2.Individuals and institutions have different interests and power relations 3.Society is complex and planning should incorporate that complexity in the way it operates
  51. 51. A reaction to positivist planning Communicative planning is a reaction to earlier comprehensive, rationalistic, technocratic planning theories which adopted a ‘single world view’ (white male Western capitalist technocrat )President Kennedy visits NY World Fair, Photo source:
  52. 52. THENAll knowing NOW Mediator
  53. 53. Participatory planning and designing Emphasizes involving the community in the strategic and management processes of spatial planning through tools like direct participation, vision making, on-line debates and participatory budgeting
  54. 54. Participatory Reflection and Action Handing over the stick : Facilitating investigation, analysis, presentation and learning by local people themselves, so they generate and own the outcomes and also learn Self-critical awareness: Facilitators continuously and critically examine their own behaviour Personal responsibility:Taking responsibility for what is done, rather than, for instance, relying on the authority of manuals or on rigid rules Sharing: Involves the wide range of techniques now available, from chatting across the fence to online scenario buildingSource: Fisher, Fred (2001). Building Bridges through Participatory Planning. UN-HABITAT. ISBN 92-1-131623-5. Retrieved 2008-10-21.
  55. 55. What are the challenges to implement participationin planning and designing processes? Photo by Sarah Cass at Flickr
  56. 56. This part of the lecture is based onLehtonen’s text:LEHTONEN, S., 2011. PublicParticipation in Urban Planning andStrategies: Lessons from medium sizedcities in the Baltic Region,Frederiksberg: MECIBS Photo by Sarah Cass at Flickr
  57. 57. Potential for revitalizationWe must consider the humanand social capital ofinhabitants as POTENTIALSFOR REVITALIZATION insituations of rapid change Photo by Sarah Cass at Flickr
  58. 58. Avoiding social exclusionParticipation is a toolto build up citizenshipand to avoid socialexclusion (which isoften related torestructuring localeconomies andunemployment) Photo by Sarah Cass at Flickr
  59. 59. Newinnovative ...are neededarenas to realize place-and potential and people-processes potentials Photo by Sarah Cass at Flickr
  60. 60. Silent groupsThese new arenas,devices, tools andmeans of participationare necessary for all,but specially for thesilent groups(children, youth,elderly people, peopleof different ethnicorigin, and in somecases, WOMEN!) Photo by Sarah Cass at Flickr
  61. 61. Time, money andincreasing argumentationParticipatory processes needresources: time, organizationalefforts, communication andcommitment (from inhabitantsAND administrations!).For the city it entails increasingcriticism and increasing need forargumentation Photo by Sarah Cass at Flickr
  62. 62. ParticipationHuman capital Social inclusion New tools Silent groupsResources
  63. 63. What politician needs that? Photo by Sarah Cass at Flickr
  64. 64. di bly inc reI t is ing! ns um me co ti
  65. 65. Non-participatoryplans can also deliver good results
  66. 66. huge is a he reT tw een be rs es g ap s c ou ry di i c ip ato espa rt ac ti c pr and
  67. 67. ‘City building requiresempowering those whoare excluded not just fromthe DISCUSSION butfrom structural positionsthat allow them genuineinfluence’. Fainstein, 2000) (
  68. 68. Bu t can ti c i p ati o npar r be tter d elive resu lts? Photo by Sarah Cass at Flickr
  69. 69. , it esY ! ca n
  70. 70. Tools&Practices Photo by Sarah Cass at Flickr
  71. 71. Main practices for PPSelf-teaching: locals act as teachersPublic hearingsParticipatory budgetParticipatory zoning
  72. 72. Main tools for PPQuestionnaires and Interviews Map and model buildingPublic hearings Stakeholder mappingDirect planner-stakeholder contact Institutional diagrammingInternet games and scenario building Time-lines and trend analysisSocial media hearingsStrategy-making gamesRole playingLocal plan makingBlogging
  73. 73. Agora: the wisdom of crowds
  74. 74. Budget simulator
  75. 75. All our ideas
  76. 76. See examples of tools at:
  77. 77. Thanks for listeningand watching!
  78. 78. References:FAINSTEIN,  S.  2000.  New  Directions  in  Planning  Theory.  Urban  Affairs  Review,  35,   451-­‐478.FISHER,  Fred  (2001).  Building  Bridges  through  Participatory  Planning.  UN-­‐HABITAT.  .   Retrieved  2008-­‐10-­‐21.HARVEY,  D.  2008.  The  Right  to  the  City.  New  Left  Review.  New  Left  Review.LEHTONEN,  S.,  2011.  Public  Participation  in  Urban  Planning  and  Strategies:  Lessons   from  medium  sized  cities  in  the  Baltic  Region,  Frederiksberg:  MECIBSPost-­‐modernist  dictionary  at Postmodernism_Dictionary.htmlWAGNER,  C.  2011.  Spatial  Justice  and  the  City  of  São  Paulo.  masters,  Leuphana   University.
  79. 79. And this is Joel This is (Sarah’s Sarah husband)With special thanks to Sarah Cass from the US, who gracefullyallowed the use of her photographs. You can see the originalphotographs at: presentation was prepared by Roberto Rocco,Chair of Spatial Planning and StrategyDelft University of Technology (TU Delft)You can contact me at SpatialPlanning &Strategy &Strategy
  80. 80. Some rights reserved by Jonathan Mcintosh at Flickr
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