Emerging Directions in Decentralized Participatory Planning: Implications for Theory, Practice, and Roles of the Planner

International Conference and Learning Workshop

India, like many other countries across the world, has legally mandated the reform of statutory local planning processes to make it more participatory. Change in existing processes has, however, been slow, and a prime hurdles include the inadequate conceptual familiarity, knowledge bases, and practical understandings of the domain of participatory planning and weak attention paid to implementation from the profession. In fact, the questions and tasks of participatory local government planning have yet to enter the mainstream planning profession’s mind-space in any noticeable measure, despite some promising experiments across locations and the great need for professional expertise. However, India is not alone in these experiments, nor in the difficulties encountered in broad-basing them. Modalities for citizen participation in developing local government plans are being tried elsewhere, from the participatory budgeting processes undertaken in Brazil municipalities to attempts at similar processes in the U.K. and the U.S. These provide fertile learning opportunities, but there have been few efforts to collect and bring together and examine experiences of decentralized, multi-tier, spatial planning from across countries for cross-learning to understand issues, possibilities, and hurdles. This conference is directed to a panoramic examination of the diverse experiences, for policy and practical learning, and focuses on the institutional and organizational arrangements for decentralized participatory planning by local governments. Speakers include scholars and practitioners from Brazil, South Africa, Indonesia, U.K., Switzerland, Germany, U.S., and India.

Conference Organizers:

  • Kajri Misra, Xavier Institute of Management, Bhubaneswar, India
  • Debiprasad Mishra, Institute of Rural Management, Anand, India
  • Neema Kudva, Department of City and Regional Planning
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