Who are the active citizens? Characterizations of citizens in participatory urban planning processes

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    Abstract

    This article presents the variety of different active citizens and participants involved in a collaborative and participatory planning process within an urban regeneration project in Denmark. In much of the literature on planning and citizen participation citizens are often regarded as a homogenous group. This article argues that there are no `ordinary´ citizens, and claims that citizens are very different and participate in various ways. A criticism raised in relation to participatory processes is that these often tend to favour certain modes of communication based on an implicit ideal of the citizen as being resourceful, mastering political skills and know-how and time. However, many citizens do not `fit´ this stereotype, and thus there is a risk that many citizens are biased by the way the institutional settings for participation are designed. A characterization of active citizens in participatory processes could be useful for practitioners in order to be aware that their choices of techniques and involvement are part of shaping the nature of the participatory process and their overall inclusiveness and representativeness.
    Original languageEnglish
    Place of PublicationRoskilde
    PublisherRoskilde Universitet
    Number of pages14
    ISBN (Print)87-92063-36-5
    Publication statusPublished - 2008

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