How Citizens Influence Their Municipal Services

  • Robert K. Yin
Part of the Environment, Development, and Public Policy: Cities and Development book series (EDPC)


Citizen participation in community affairs can be approached from many angles. The most common one has been the increased role of citizens in the use of federal funds, stemming from urban development programs such as the urban renewal, Community Action, and Model Cities programs, but now also including citizen advisory boards in special services such as education and transportation.1 However, an alternative approach to citizen participation emphasizes the influence of citizens over the actions of municipal officials. Because of the frequent turnover in federal programs, this alternative approach may be more significant to the urban scene; the full array of municipal services can be affected, and these are the services that will endure regardless of any changes in the mixture of federal programs. From this point of view, the goal is to have municipal officials—that is, the people who work in city hall or in the line agencies actually delivering services to neighborhoods—listen more closely to what residents say.


Urban Renewal Citizen Participation Executive Branch Municipal Service Municipal Official 
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  1. Stenberg, Carl W. “Decentralization and the City.” Municipal Yearbook, 1972, Washington, D.C.: International City Management Association, 1972.Google Scholar
  2. Yin, Robert K. “Cable-TV and Public Interest Programs in Dayton.” In Cable Communications in the Dayton Miami Valley, In L. L. Johnson et al., Santa Monica, Calif.: Rand Corporation, 1972.Google Scholar
  3. Yin, Robert K, and Yates, Douglas. Street-Level Governments: Assessing Decentralization and Urban Services. Lexington, Mass: Lexington Books, 1975.Google Scholar
  4. Yin, Robert K., Hearn, R.W., and Shapiro, P. “Administrative Decentralization of Municipal Services.” Policy Sciences 1974, 5, 57–70.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert K. Yin
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.The Case Study InstituteUSA
  2. 2.Massachusetts Institute of TechnologyCambridgeUSA

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