Public and Stakeholder Engagement and the Built Environment: a Review
Purpose of Review
We review 50 articles from 2015 and 2016 that focus upon public and stakeholder engagement as it pertains to the built environment. Our purpose is to understand the current state of the literature and approaches being used to better enable public and stakeholder engagement. As part of this review, we consider whether recent digital and mobile technologies have enabled advances for stakeholder and public participation.
The literature suggests some positive and some challenging developments. Researchers clearly suggest that most policy-makers and planners understand, and to some extent, aspire toward enabling more inclusive participatory planning processes. That said, there is far less consensus as to how to make meaningful inclusive participatory processes possible even with digital, as well as more traditional, tools. This lack of consensus is true across all academic disciplines reviewed.
We discuss these issues as well as current solutions offered by many scholars. We find that no single solution can be applied to different situations, as contextual factors create different problems in different situations, and that the participation process itself can create biases that can—intentionally or unintentionally—benefit some participants over others. We conclude with a series of questions for practitioners and researchers to consider when evaluating inclusive engagement.
KeywordsBuilt environment Stakeholder Engagement Public participation Planning Urban
Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance
- 11.• Cascetta E, Carteni A, Pagliara F, Montanino M. A new look at planning and designing transportation systems: a decision-making model based on cognitive rationality, stakeholder engagement and quantitative methods. Transp Policy. 2015;38:27–39. This paper proposes an innovative, cross-disciplinary, decision-making model. It is interesting as it highlights just how complex designing an effective public engagement process can be.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 21.•• Fung A. Putting the public back into governance: the challenges of citizen participation and its future. Public Adm Rev. 2015;75(4):513–22. Fung has previously offered a highly influential framework for understanding the institutional possibilities for public participation. Here, he takes stock of the prospects for participation to enhance democracy and identifies three key challenges to participatory governance.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 30.Jao I, Kombe F, Mwalukore S, Bull S, Parker M, Kamuya D, et al. Involving research stakeholders in developing policy on sharing public health research data in Kenya: views on fair process for informed consent, access oversight, and community engagement. J Empir Res Hum Res Ethics. 2015;10(3):264–77.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- 31.Kaczorowska A, Kain JH, Kronenberg J, Haase D. Ecosystem services in urban land use planning: integration challenges in complex urban settings—case of Stockholm. Ecosyst Serv. 2015;3.Google Scholar
- 33.Ljungholm DP. Citizen participation in organizational decision making. Review of Contemporary Philosophy. 2015;14:138–43.Google Scholar
- 36.Druschke C, Hychka K. Manager perspectives on communication and public engagement in ecological restoration project success. Ecol Soc. 2015;20(1).Google Scholar
- 41.• Kleinhans R, Van Ham M, Evans-Cowley J. Using social media and mobile technologies to foster engagement and self-organization in participatory urban planning and neighbourhood governance. Plan Pract Res. 2015;30(3):237–47. There is much emphasis on the possibilities for virtual tools in the participation process. This paper provides a useful counterbalance to that emphasising how virtual tools can currently only complement real-world interaction.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 53.Kettl DF. The next government of the United States: why our institutions fail us and how to fix them. WW Norton & Company; 2008.Google Scholar
- 54.National Research Council. Understanding risk: informing decisions in a democratic society. National Academies Press; 1996.Google Scholar
- 56.Olson M. The logic of collective action. Cambridge: Harvard University Press; 1965.Google Scholar
- 57.Chong D. Collective action and the civil rights movement. Chicago: University of Chicago Press; 1991.Google Scholar
- 58.Wolfinger RE, Rosenstone SJ. Who votes? New Haven: Yale University Press; 1980.Google Scholar
- 59.Leyden KM. The purpose and politics of Congressional committee hearings: who participates and why (Doctoral dissertation, University of Iowa).Google Scholar
- 61.Salisbury RH. An exchange theory of interest groups. Midwest J Polit Sci. 1969;1:1–32.Google Scholar
- 62.Schlozman KL, Tierney JT. Organized interests and American democracy. Harpercollins College Div; 1986.Google Scholar
- 64.Wright JR. Interest groups and congress: lobbying, contributions, and influence. Boston: Allyn & Bacon; 1996.Google Scholar