Interventions for urban sustainable development have shifted from conventional planning methods by experts to collective decision making processes involving practitioners, researchers, and representatives of society including non-government organizations (NGOs) and local community groups. In this context, transdisciplinary contributions have assumed an increasingly important function. Transdisciplinary processes involve communication and negotiation between stakeholders who do not have the same language, shared knowledge and know-how about urban sustainable development, and especially how it can be operationalized in specific localities. There are several prerequisites for effective participatory processes which should be understood in order to overcome common misunderstandings about the outcomes of these processes. This workshop will discuss these issues.


This session will present the societal frameworks for participatory planning processes, and clarify definitions of citizen participation and public consultation which are fundamentally different.
Both are used is transdisciplinary urban research and real-world projects for sustainable urban development.

Outline of the session

1) Introductory lecture (20 minutes).
2) Q & A (10 minutes).
3) Group Exercise (60 minutes; 15 minutes per case).
4) Plenary presentations (30 minutes; 3 cases each of 10 minutes).

Group Exercise

1) Each participant is a member of a working group of 4 persons.
2) Each participant should nominate the stakeholder groups that are relevant to their case.
3) Each participant should order/select the 3 most important stakeholder groups for their case.
4) Each participant allocates a role to the other members of their group as a stakeholder of their case.
5) Each participant presents their case to their group using a 3 minute pitch, and asks each member of the group to comment on the case from their stakeholder perspective: Is something missing? Is something not clear?
6) Once the whole group has presented their case using this exercise, the group will select one case to be presented to the whole workshop.
7) The selected case of each group is presented using a 3 minute pitch; other members of the group assume their stakeholder role and there is a Q & A for all participants in the workshop.

Lessons learned

The participants will consider how the lessons learned from this workshop will influence their analysis and interpretation of their selected cases.

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