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Citizen participation or representative democracy?: The Case Of Stockholm, Sweden
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Urban Planning and Environment, Urban and Regional Studies.
2012 (English)In: Journal of Architectural and Planning Research, ISSN 0738-0895, Vol. 29, no 1, 5-17 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The Swedish planning model, as it developed during the period of 1945-1985, was a typical modernist top-down model that provided no scope for direct citizen participation. Regardless, in the 1970s, demands for popular participation in planning became prominent. A new planning and building act was passed to provide for consultancy with the general public. The experience from Stockholm, where the author served as a city councillor for 11 years, shows that the law has been implemented formally but also that there are a number of obstacles to participation in planning. One important obstacle is that developers have usually made up their minds when plan proposals are presented for consultancy, so the proposals are not open to changes. Another obstacle is that plan proposals are difficult for citizens to understand. This article argues that public participation can be strengthened by working out more than one alternative proposal for consultations, introducing child-impact assessments of plan proposals, and using the reverse planning process, in which citizens are invited to identify desirable changes to their own neighborhoods. Citizen participation is seen as a supplement to the representative democratic system, not a replacement.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 29, no 1, 5-17 p.
Keyword [en]
National Category
Social Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-100177ISI: 000306348500002ScopusID: 2-s2.0-84864781066OAI: diva2:542931
QC 20120806Available from: 2012-08-06 Created: 2012-08-06 Last updated: 2012-08-06Bibliographically approved

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