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Overview

Using a mixed-method qualitative approach this dissertation examines citizen participation in urban planning in Colon, Panama from three different perspectives: long-standing, conventional institutional mechanisms for citizen participation; new "bottom-up" efforts by emergent grassroots organizations; and "top-down" expert-driven, "participatory" projects devised by international development organizations and the Panamanian state. In so doing, this dissertation argues three main points. First, participation ...
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Overview

Using a mixed-method qualitative approach this dissertation examines citizen participation in urban planning in Colon, Panama from three different perspectives: long-standing, conventional institutional mechanisms for citizen participation; new "bottom-up" efforts by emergent grassroots organizations; and "top-down" expert-driven, "participatory" projects devised by international development organizations and the Panamanian state. In so doing, this dissertation argues three main points. First, participation cannot be adequately assessed using the "best-practices" models as benchmarks, as understanding participation requires a deeper analysis. "Not-so-perfect" cases here highlight the processes of negotiation that shapes the ecology of actors involved in the participatory process. This is particularly important for the case of Colon where participation is still working under a dominant political system that has yet to reform institutional mechanisms for participation. Second, participation is complex, both token act and an effective avenue for citizens to have a voice in deciding the future of their cities, especially in practical ways, such as improving housing and access to job availability. Finally, economic globalization can partly explain participation in urban planning, yet it is still unclear if it actually changes the way in which people organize. The case of Colon demonstrates the need for a new, more dynamic, and flexible model for participation, reflecting processes that may well be occurring in many similarly smaller, less influential cities. Far from being simply co-opting, or admirably collaborative, this dissertation reveals how city planning is many things at once.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781243492852
  • Publisher: BiblioLabsII
  • Publication date: 9/2/2011
  • Pages: 66
  • Product dimensions: 7.44 (w) x 9.69 (h) x 0.14 (d)

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