In this recent essay, Simon Joss argues that enhancing the much-valued (but ever problematic) role of public participation in urban sustainability may require a more differentiated approach.

Ideally, participation would be generated across multiple deliberative arenas, each with different requirements, and made more responsive to different types of publics. Crucially, more formal consultation oriented toward policy decision-making should not be conflated with more open-ended exploratory engagement. The discussion includes an outline of the history of public participation, and is illustrated with three brief case studies.

The essay forms part of an edited volume, Eco-Cities: Sharing European and Asian Best Practices and Experiences, published by EU-Asia Dialogue (a consortium consisting of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung political foundation, the East Asian Institute of the National University of Singapore, the European Policy Centre in Brussels, and the European Union Centre in Singapore). As a whole, the book advocates an open and inclusive approach to building eco-cities, shaped as much by specific local conditions as by international best practice. It aims, furthermore, to counter the ‘one way street’ whereby Europe ‘teaches’ Asia about urban sustainability – promoting instead a mutual learning process.

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Eco-Cities: Sharing European And Asian Best Practices And Experiences
Publisher:  Select Books, Singapore
ISBN:  9789810901363

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