In this paper, it shows the importance and scope of the arguments related to participation, generally glimpsing the vast program of community planning. In a first approach, we consider community planning as the set of practices involving citizen participation in urban and regional planning (Thomas, 2003). The specific objective of this article is to identify the main categories of analysis and arguments concerning participation in planning to guide future studies. To this end, a literature search was performed using an information source recognized internationally, the Geographical Abstracts, Human Geography series. It should be noted that the method of analysis used here and the same article are an integral part of the first stage of development of a doctoral thesis Human Geography in community planning and participation in decision-making processes. It is a thesis in progress that aims to develop a comparative study of Latin American and European which have been made planning and environmental management, with this orientation cases. In this sense, this article tries to be the precursor of successive publications that meet on the one hand, methodological and conceptual development of the thesis and, secondly, provide an overview of planning and management participated (Koplan, Liverman, & Kraak, 2005). Congruently with interactive methodologies, own research topic and the approach chosen for its development, it seeks precisely stimulate possible contributions and possible systematic reflections on methodological and substantive aspects of the thesis.
The participation of citizens in planning is a subject of great interest and complexity and refers to the set of theories, methods and practices interactively feeding the community in decision-making processes. The community plays an important role about the state and the market. Furthermore, its active and direct participation in decision-making processes can interfere with the alleged technical and scientific autonomy planners, putting into discussion the role of the expert in the planning and management of territory; therefore their participation in decision making can be considered, depending on the context, as a stimulus or threaten normal practices or urban land use. The concept of "community" (1) and its modalities of expression in political life are a problematic aspect whose performances often generate confusion and surface approaches to participatory planning. The nature of the community and its forms of participation have been evolving since the early 1960s. However, old and new approaches coexist conflicting conceptions of society and participation that often generate mistrust and suspicion between planners and operators. Since the 1980s the community is not expressed only through associations and manifests increasingly multiple, heterogeneous, inconsistent and not necessarily local scope form. It is set in informal terms and is organized in temporary structures or rapid transformation. It is directly related to the specific problems and claims, increasingly, voluntarily excluded from traditional forms of consultation. In social situations of pluralism and multiculturalism, intercultural mediation promotes new forms of communication and dialogue between citizens and experts. The innovation of traditional forms of politics and legitimize a plan as well as new challenges for citizen participation in pluralism are created is stimulated.
Beyond the statistical significance of the data analyzed, presented below the substantial meaning of each category. It should be noted that the meaning refers to the year 1998 and may vary with varying intensity in the other years, depending on the meanings used in research and the historical evolution of this field of study (Stanley & Manthorpe, 2002). However, also based on previous knowledge, they differ then approaches the aforementioned investigations. It is an effort of interpretation of data and a first constructive contribution to the thematic exploration type.
The contents and guidelines
Theoretical and conceptual aspects
The theoretical and conceptual concerning community planning and participation in decision-making processes, arguments play different aspects among which sustainable community development, resource management by communities, based on the principle of ecological equity, and practices of participation by citizens. In particular, there are studies on citizenship and courts in Germany and Britain. Two approaches to the subject, complementary to each other are distinguished.
The first approach seeks new empirical approaches to study and implement decision-making process based on the principle of sustainability (Report on the inspection of a children's residential centre in the Health Service Executive Dublin north local health area, 2008). In this case, the local community is the appropriate level to address, in addition to sustainable development and the value of human resources, active learning, shared communication and cooperation between people. Wanted in these studies improve individual consciousness shifting from an individualist to one focused on the other and future generations vision. In this sense it acquires great relevance measuring reversibility project to build a new theoretical framework accordingly.
The other approach is more theoretical and historical and reflects on the practices and structures of citizen participation and its origins as a form of protest by the inhabitants of a territory. The accent is placed on the role of some key players, such as owners of a particular resource or, and the benefits of participation in specific collective actions are studied (Petersen, Joseph, & Feit, n.d.). The reasons that drive participation, the dynamics, the types of collective action, the status of resources and goods in question or the tenures are, for example, some basic variables that must be considered.
This category is quite heterogeneous but, however, it is possible to group those inquiries into two groups. The first refers to the relationships established between the macro and the micro level of government and, second, to the formulation and implementation of sect oral policies.
In the first case, it is assumed that the micro experiences of grassroots communities are necessary for the design of macro policies. This argument is still underdeveloped, and micro experiences are only used to extract information. In this regard, the issue of access to information, the rigor and relevance of the same arguments are of great interest. In some studies, the emphasis on aspects related to gain power (empowerment) by the grassroots rather than merely obtaining information. In this line of research studying the relationship between human resources (e.g. Literate population, trained, trained, trained) and the ability to conduct participatory processes move (Peters, 2009). Other studies suggest the gap between the rich and the poor population in access to technologies; a serious obstacle and an element of disparity particularly felt in the contexts in which political life is mediated by computer (as in the case of Thailand trying to plan and manage the territory through computer systems).
The second group deals with problems related to the formulation and implementation of policies. In this sense, the objective of the analysis is primarily the study box coalitions. It seeks to distinguish coalitions limited to simple verbal agreements truly strategic coalitions, as well as key stakeholders and private interests that transform speeches into action strategies (as in the case of Finland).
This category includes studies that address the issue of participation from the methodological point of view. Ways to engage the public may be different and have more or less successful, depending on situations (Nolan, 2007). In some cases it is necessary to ensure technical competence, in other cases, are more important political considerations. The forms of participation can be selected by legislators, bureaucrats, politicians, among others, and the effectiveness of the results may also depend on the promoters of participatory processes.
First, they are grouped here investigation analyzing precisely the forms of participation and make a critical reading of traditional approaches. Among the different types of involving the public, they can be distinguished, for example, direct participation without ties and direct with ties (i.e., conducting politics through non-governmental representatives). Referenda, public forums, hearings and citizen advisory committees, involve substantial differences in the development of participatory processes (National Health Service Act 1977. Relocation of private practice facilities at National Health Service hospitals. Proposals made by the Health Services Board under section 71 of the National Health Service Act 1977 (c.49), 2007). Referring to a critical reading of traditional approaches, some work discuss the effectiveness of participation, representation and access of citizens, information sharing and learning, the type of affected community and the authorities involved in the process decision.
Finally, here we can group studies different nature and character point they have in common a renewed analysis and evaluation of methods of participation interest with an alternative approach (Mullins, 2007). They refer, for example, the conservation of biodiversity at the local level to large-scale projects, or research about street children. In the latter case, the street is considered as a peculiar geographical context that drives beyond simple problem solidarity, planning practices, and management.
Are studies related to the alternative financing of ecological loans that include the participation of the community and, especially, peasants concerning the mechanisms of local control of loans, funds for Community loans, bonds or circles loan micro credits, all for a more sustainable development (McLaughlin, 2009). On the other hand, there are studies looking for a new way of doing business, environmental, social and emotionally sensitive geographical contexts, characterized by the presence of Indians. In these examples, there is a need to maintain open and transparent processes of decision taking at the same time, along with the business, social and environmental commitment (Loevinsohn, 2008). Fairly representative in this sense seems to be from Shell Prospecting and Development in Peru, although we doubt that a major oil company has ecological concerns.
Research in this category refers to three important scales of participation: international, national and the relationship between them. In the first case it is, for example, agreements reached at the European Committee on Environmental Policy and refer to treaties and conventions that facilitate access to information, public participation in decision-making and access to justice in environmental matters. These agreements represent an appeal to the countries and the regions which seek to ensure the development of appropriate mechanisms for public participation in environmental issues and the legal and administrative aspects (Koplan, Liverman, & Kraak, 2005). Always internationally, it investigates the relationship between environmental regulation, business, and national competitiveness. The main issue is to explore the possibility of accessing funds, entering the GATT (General Agreement on Trade and Tariffs) and assuming a more "green" attitude. In this sense, the responsibility of the United States and its strong influence on environmental regulations is highlighted (Kochendo?rfer-Lucius & Pleskovic, 2004). Participation on this scale is seen as the establishment of a system of non-governmental and governmental organizations to facilitate communication, information sharing, and reciprocity, and legitimize the standards and regulations that the favorable behavior to sustainable development spread. It remains to be seen to what extent these organizations, strategic interests often contradictory, can help spread the ethics of sustainability (International trade and health, 2009). Another interesting topic at the high political level refers to the trap of the "hinge decision." It is the ability of some national actors, in international decision processes, manage to block or hinder unilaterally those processes. The situation that produces decisions made by the lowest common denominator and that are far from optimal.
These investigations suggest the need to rethink the development community, incorporating it in the global dimension, wondering how the locally affected community can use the dynamics of globalization to their advantage (Institutional health services research training programs, 2000). Some case studies (Australia) show that neoliberal reforms involve antagonism in the allocation of state resources and contradiction and chaos in the national environmental policy. On the one hand, it feels the need to formulate action plans and environmental monitoring and, secondly, the state is hesitant about investing resources in this regard.
They gather under this category some suggestive works, aimed to highlight the formation of local government structures. Logical and issues that lie beneath the possibility of governing the initiatives generated by the base communities are explored in this regard (Hann, 2007). The representation of processes, legitimacy, feasibility and benefits are important issues related to the topic.
There are cases (Nigeria) which show that the reasons for low participation of community-based decision making found in structural problems related to the system of government. Values, forms and content of the consultations that the government instigates not motivate participation (Inspection of a children's residential centre in the Health Service Executive South, n.d.). In fact, the decisions of local plans are taken only at the highest levels of government.
Most studies collected in this category refer to Latin America and the Caribbean; an area comprising a large geographical area involved in a major process of democratic transition. This is research conducted by the World Bank (Depoe, Delicath, & Elsenbeer, 2004). According to these sources, in both areas, it is creating a new institutional environment created mainly by local authorities and with the presence of more reformist mayors in the past. Innovations relate to improving the preparation of the professional, the ability to collect resources, improve the supply of public services and increased public participation in decision-making. It would be a silent revolution long range.
Studies of this category are part of the decision-making process based on the principle of sustainability and in a few cases, the evaluation of environmental policies at local level. They seek, firstly, to formulate a measure that compares the development of various project alternatives and, on the other, evaluate social interventions in a community. In the first case, they propose, for example, algorithms for the evaluation of the criteria of choice of actors and investors involved in the process of quantifying the risks of a project (Davidson, 2003). It also seeks to estimate, under the principle of distributive justice, the impacts of the project in groups of the same generation (intra-temporal impact and distribution) and groups of different generations (inter-temporal impact and distribution). Its aim is to measure the feasibility and potential sustainability of projects. It is the objective of the second case evaluate social interventions in the community (for example the use of certain drugs or alcohol products in a group) studying interests, conflicts and roles of the actors involved in the evaluation (Clark, 2002). The latter are very important aspects that also arise in the most thoughtful studies on self-assessment and favor the analysis of disputes as a way to produce community dialogue and perform the investee evaluation. However in practice, there are some limitations as are determined by the (most innovative on the one hand, and conventional, on the other) contradictory paradigms of research and conceptual diversity of approaches.
However, other studies indicate that the paradigm of public participation, indeed conflicting dynamics are generated, especially at the level of government processes and administrative decision (Ax & Fagan, 2003). If, on the one hand, decentralization opens channels of popular participation at the local level, on the other, the same decentralization, designs and implements processes of social control that affect organizations that can threaten the power structures of national institutions. These critical research studies that show a more skeptical approach to the issue of decentralization (such as Poland), or a negative balance of results (as in the example of Ghana) are added.
Poverty and injustice are the main aspects of human development addressed by NGOs. In this regard, access to basic services is considered essential for more sustainable practices. On the one hand, the emphasis on innovative development models launched by NGOs which have improved the participation of the people (in Bangladesh for example) or have generated the development of financial services for the community gets. On the other, it insists on the objectives related to states and communities, approaches and working methods as well as new challenges and new roles that NGOs are playing in recent years.
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