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Politicising participation

towards a new theoretical approach to participation in the planning and design of public spaces

Calderon, Camilo (2013). Politicising participation. Diss. (sammanfattning/summary) Uppsala : Sveriges lantbruksuniv., Acta Universitatis agriculturae Sueciae, 1652-6880 ; 2013:37
ISBN 978-91-576-7813-3
[Doctoral thesis]

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Abstract

The involvement of local communities in public space planning and design processes is widely promoted as an essential element of landscape architecture and urban design practice. Despite this, there has been little theorisation of this topic within these fields. Furthermore, the implementation of ideals and principles commonly found in theory are far from becoming mainstream practice, indicating a significant gap between the theory and practice of participation.

This thesis aims to contribute to the development of theories of participation in the planning and design of public spaces. It steps away from the prevailing normative and procedural approach to theory development, and instead adopts a critical approach grounded on the deep understanding of the challenges of participation in the planning and design of public spaces. Case studies of two urban renewal projects, in Medellin, Colombia, and in Barcelona, Spain, and their participatory processes, are used for building up the
theoretical contribution.

The empirical and theoretical findings foreground the contextual and political nature of participatory processes. Contextual, in the sense that the implementation of ideals and principles found in theory is facilitated or hindered by the social, political and economic context in which a participatory process takes place. Political, in the sense that in complex contexts that comprise a wide range of actors, and where contrasting goals and agendas are at stake, the implementation of these theoretical ideals and principles is significantly challenged by politics involving deep differences, conflicts and power relations.

The findings also show that prevailing theories of participation within landscape architecture and urban design do not take into consideration the contextual and political nature of participatory processes. This renders these theories weak in their capacity to respond to the challenges encountered by participatory processes in contemporary public space projects. This is particularly so as the dynamics of increasing pluralisation, muliticultarisation and neoliberalisation of cities create contexts that hinder the implementation of the ideals and principles found in theory, and increase the challenges caused by their political nature. Consequently, this thesis proposes a new theoretical approach to participation in the planning and design of public spaces, that allows context-based distinctions and judgements about the qualities of participatory practices for just decision-making. Difference, conflict and power are central in this approach. This thesis establishes this theoretical departure point and makes a significant contribution towards the development of the proposed theoretical approach.

Authors/Creators:Calderon, Camilo
Title:Politicising participation
Subtitle:towards a new theoretical approach to participation in the planning and design of public spaces
Series/Journal:Acta Universitatis agriculturae Sueciae (1652-6880)
Year of publishing :May 2013
Volume:2013:37
Number of Pages:107
Papers/manuscripts:
NumberReferences
I.Calderon, C. (2012). Social Urbanism - Integrated and participatory urban upgrading in Medellin, Colombia. In R. J. Lawrence, H. Turgut & P. Kellett (Eds.), Requalifying the Built Environment: Challenges and Responses (pp. 179-198). Göttingen: Hogrefe Publishing.
II.Calderon, C., & Chelleri, L. (forthcoming). Social processes in the production of public spaces: Structuring forces, actors and public spaces in the renewal of a deprived neighbourhood in Barcelona. Accepted for publication in the Journal of Urban Design.
III.Calderon, C. Rethinking participation: A critical examination of participation in the planning and design of public spaces. Submitted for publication to the journal Urban Design International.
Place of Publication:Uppsala
Publisher:Institutionen för stad och land, Sveriges lantbruksuniversitet
ISBN for printed version:978-91-576-7813-3
ISSN:1652-6880
Language:English
Publication Type:Doctoral thesis
Full Text Status:Public
Agris subject categories.:X Agricola extesions > X80 Social sciences, humanities and education
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 2 Engineering and Technology > 201 Civil Engineering > Architectural Engineering
(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 4 Agricultural Sciences > 401 Agricultural, Forestry and Fisheries > Landscape Architecture
(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 5 Social Sciences > 506 Political Science > Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalisation Studies)
Agrovoc terms:urban areas, planning, participation, landscaping, urban environment, design, politics
Keywords:participation, public space, landscape architecture, urban design, planning, politics, context
URN:NBN:urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-e-1435
Permanent URL:
http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-e-1435
ID Code:10390
Department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Urban and Rural Development
(LTJ, LTV) > Dept. of Urban and Rural Development
Deposited By: Camilo Calderon
Deposited On:06 May 2013 09:01
Metadata Last Modified:02 Dec 2014 11:00

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