Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers -

Urban Design and Planning

ISSN 1755-0793 | E-ISSN 1755-0807
Volume 170 Issue 4, August, 2017, pp. 173-186
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The paper builds on the evidence of an increasing consensus towards citizens' engagement practices in shaping both the form and functioning of the city, and on the apparent distance between the setting up of governance structures adequate for participatory processes to be performed, and the daily urban planning and design. Against this context, the research investigates whether public participation processes are adequately and appropriately addressed in urban planning and design practices. A bibliometric analysis on participatory processes' connection with urban studies (including urban governance, planning, design and development) is described, together with an in-depth evaluation of some works, which makes it possible to appreciate the complexity of the topic. The bibliometric analysis  shows a significant divide between the traditional fields of social sciences, built environment disciplines and information technologies; and no common understanding or framework to translate aspirations for greater citizen participation into improved planning, design and construction of city infrastructures. Discussion and conclusions provide, thus, some guidelines for an ambitious research agenda to address these shortcomings based on a systems approach, able to integrate the processes and results from direct participatory processes into decision making for urban planning and design.

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