Citizen participation in planning: from the neighbourhood to the city

22nd November, 2021

On 24th November 2021 at 2pm (GMT) Professor Vanesa Castán Broto will participate in an expert panel at on online event organised by the International Institute for Environment and Development.

Citizen participation in planning: from the neighbourhood to the city will reflect on the needs and challenges of citizen participation in the planning and development of informal settlements. Globally, over one billion people live in informal settlements, often with limited infrastructure and access to essential services. When efforts to shape these areas arise, residents are often left out of the planning processes. This online event will explore the need for participation of residents in planning and why the capacity to go to scale is essential to successful development initiatives. The need for citizen participation in local planning processes has long been recognised. Such involvement is essential for both equitable democratic citizenship and for effective interventions that respond to everyday lived realities.

Participatory planning and development is particularly significant for the residents of informal settlements, who are generally among the lowest-income and most disadvantaged urban citizens. Faced with considerable state neglect, neighbourhood organisations, social movements and NGOs are consolidating alliances and federations to reclaim the capacity to modify their living environments as a collective right. However, considerable challenges remain.

The expert panel will explore what recent experiences add to our understanding about how and in what form participation can scale upwards and outwards:

  • What is the relationship of participation to democracy and political inclusion?
  • What are the key challenges that remain in terms of participatory practices?
  • How can we address past deficiencies and secure more accountable processes and knowledge democracy?

Free registration:

Image credit: "Living Conditions in an Informal Settlement" by The Advocacy Project is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0