Communicative planning is an approach to urban planning that is important in the process of making decisions. [1] It is also sometimes called collaborative planning by planning practitioners.

History and theory

Since the 1970s, communicative planning theory has been based on several key understandings. These key points include the notions that communication and reasoning come in various forms, knowledge is socially constructed, and people’s diverse interests and preferences are formed out of their social contexts. [2] Communicative theory also draws on Foucauldian analyzes of power in that it recognizes that power relations exist in practice and has the ability to oppress individuals. [1] [2] Specific to a community and urban planning context, communicative theory acknowledges that planners‘ own actions, words, lived experiences, and communication styles have an effect on the planning process. [2]Finally, communicative planning theory advances the idea that planning happens in everyday practice and social relations, and consensus-building can be used to organize people’s thoughts and move the traditional ways of knowing and decision-making. [1] [3] [4] [5]

In the 1990s, a number of planning methods, a new approach to urban planning theory Judith Innes is credited with the topic „communicative planning“ in her article Planning Theory’s Emerging Paradigm: Communicative Action and Interactive Practice. [6] Innes‘ les ventures de la recherche et de la planification et des planements et de la gestion et de la gestion et de la gestion et de la gestion et de la gestion et de la gestion et de la gestion en collaboration et de l’engagement en collaboration. [3] [4] [5] [6]

Patsy Healey also published a review of collaborative planning and collaborative planning. Drawing on the theory of Jürgen Habermas in particular, Healey’s work focuses on the impact that communicative acts have had on a community planning process. [1] [2] Healey also expands on the work of urban planner John F. Forester and economic geographer Bent Flyvbjerg , both of which examines Habermasian communication and power structures in their planning work. [2]

The emerging field of therapeutic planning is closely related to communicative planning. Therapeutic planning operates on the basis of community-based collective trauma, and can be used as a catalyst for community-wide healing. [7] [8] [9] Some planning practitioners use untraditional planning approaches, such as filmmaking and other artistic media, to engage community members in therapeutic planning processes. [10]

Scholars and texts

This section provides a short list of works written by planning academics on the subject of collaborative planning.

Author title year
Patsy Healey The communicative turn in planning theory and its implications for spatial strategy formation 1993
Collaborative Planning: Shaping Places in Fragmented Societies 1997
Collaborative planning in a stakeholder society 1998
Collaborative Planning in Perspective 2003
Judith Innes and David E Booher Consensus Building and Complex Adaptive Systems: A Framework for Evaluating Collaborative Planning 1999
Network Power in Collaborative Planning 2002
Consensus Building as a Role Playing and DIY: Toward a Theory of Collaborative Planning 2007

Communicative process and tools

In a communicative planning process, a facilitative role. They often act as a ‚knowledge mediator and broker‘ [1] to help with problems in order to promote more creative thinking about possible solutions. [11]

Throughout this process, information should be produced collectively by the full range of stakeholders who may be affected by the outcome of the process. [12] In particular, all of the stakeholders should be involved in negotiating both the problem definition and the solution together. [1] In doing so, solutions to conflicts and stakeholders may be re-framed as ‚win-win‘, as opposed to the ‚zero sum‘ mindset which is based on their own fixed interests. [11]Consensus-building is an important part of this collective meaning-making process, as it is discussed and validated within the group of sakeholders, resulting in information that is more important to the group. [12]

To help in consensus-building efforts, it should be distributed among the stakeholders that they are equals in the process. [1] [11] Openness and trust are also crucial for building consensus. [1] The objectives, assumptions, and positions of these stakeholders should be considered along with the uncertainties about future conditions, such as population growth, and decisions which are linked to other decisions. [13] It is important to have a stake in this issue, as it will be important for the future of biases in the future. values ​​of the stakeholders. [13]By considering this broad range of information, which can be identified, which can help build consensus. However, this can not guarantee consensus. [13] In order to deal with the challenges that arise from the position of the author, and the importance of the interaction between the two groups, the problem is one of conflicting management. [13]

Case studies

The Neighborhood Revitalization Program (NRP) – 1990

In 1990, the city of Minneapolis , Minnesota, launched a 20-year program designed to empower residents and local communities. [14] To the standard of living of living within Minneapolis neighborhoods, the NRP has been conceptualized as a means of involving citizens in the prioritization of revitalization efforts. The Minneapolis government divided $ 400 million between 81 neighborhoods and organizations that use the funding over two decades to assess priorities, reach consensus and implement neighborhood improvement projects. [14]Within the first decade of the NRP, 48% of funding was used for upgrading housing and 16% went towards job creation and economic developments. [15] Other priorities included public safety, the preservation of green space and improving transportation infrastructure.

Through the completion and adoption of 66 single neighborhood plans stakeholders from various organisms Including public general the, Minneapolis Public Library , Minneapolis Parks and Recreation, Public Works, Housing Inspection and Hennepin County all cam together to articulate and AGREE upon feasible and Mutually beneficial neighborhood guidelines. [16] With participation in public participation, participation in urban planning, participation in public participation, and participation in public affairs. [16]

Despite the creation of Participation Agreements, which has been noted as having an inclusive commitment process, the NRP has been criticized for a lack of representation from all neighborhood members. [16] While the NRP has been applauded for its communicative and collaborative values, it has been criticized in the case of exclusionary clauses and the substantial amount of continuous time and its drawbacks. [15]

Seattle’s Neighborhood Planning Program – 1994

In 1994, Seattle developed the Neighborhood Planning Program (NPP) in response to a general lack of understanding. [17] The NPP is intended to build a partnership between local residents and the local government and provides them with their own unique local plan or continued by the comprehensive plan. While these neighborhoods have been established with the broad goals of the comprehensive plan, participating neighborhoods have been afforded the opportunity to identify their own priorities and provide a list of recommendations to the city. [17]Initially, each participating neighborhood was given 10,000 dollars to begin a communicative engagement process and identify a vision for their local community. [18] Additional funding for the planning stage would not have been given to the City but it had been included in the process. [19] Once the visioning process has been estimated to be inclusive, the city provided each neighborhood with between $ 60,000-100,000 to develop a plan. [17]

In total, 38 neighborhoods participated and developed their own neighborhood plan for the municipality to follow. [19] Before approving each neighborhood plan, the municipality would have the public hearings in the neighborhood to share the plan and ensure there was consensus among all the residents in the area. [18] By 1999, the city had adopted these plans and implemented the vision of each neighborhood. [19] Each plan varied greatly as each neighborhood was afforded the opportunity to hire their own or consultants to assist them in the process. [17]Professionals who professionals. Professionals. Professionals. Professionals. Facilit who facilit who facilit who facilit who facilit who facilit who facilit who facilit who facilit who facilit who facilit who facilit who facilit who facilit who facilit who facilit who facilit who facilit who. [17]

Between 20,000 and 30,000 residents participated directly in the NPP. [17] The program has been recognized as a successful example of communicative planning and collaborative governance at the level of participation and the consensus reached. [18]

Challenges and critics

Reviews of Innes, Healey, and communicative planning focus on the planning processes and outcomes.

Older criticism of communicative planning theory. [20] They also question whether consensus is a valuable goal when they see critical planning decisions as being made gradually. [20] [21] Additional criticism tells the story of power to manipulate the consensus building process (given that consensus must be reached). [20] Older criticism of communicative planning is also lacking in the real world. [20]

Judith Innes directly in response to these criticisms in her article Consensus Building: Clarifications for the Critics . [22] Additionally, she expanded her description of the consensus building process and communicative planning roots. [22]

Newer Neoliberal Criticism Collaborative planning is a way to maintain greater political and institutional systems while creating a process that only seems to better represent the public. [23] They see how to plan and maintain a stable way of doing things. [23]


  1. ^ Jump up to:h Healey, Patsy (1997). Collaborative Planning: Shaping Places in Fragmented Societies . UBC Press. p. 5. ISBN  0774805986 .
  2. ^ Jump up to:e Healey, Patsy (1996). „The Communicative Turn in Planning Theory and its Implications for Spatial Strategy Training“. Readings in Planning Theory . 23 : 217-234. doi : 10.1068 / b230217 – via SAGE Journals.
  3. ^ Jump up to:b Innes, Judith E .; Booher, David E. (1999-12-31). „Consensus Building and Complex Adaptive Systems“ . Journal of the American Planning Association . 65 (4): 412-423. doi : 10.1080 / 01944369908976071 . ISSN  0194-4363 .
  4. ^ Jump up to:b Booher, David E .; Innes, Judith E. (2002-03-01). „Network Power in Collaborative Planning“ . Journal of Planning Education and Research . 21 (3): 221-236. doi : 10.1177 / 0739456X0202100301 . ISSN  0739-456X .
  5. ^ Jump up to:b Innes, Judith E .; Booher, David E. (1999-03-31). „Consensus Building as Playing Role and DIY“ . Journal of the American Planning Association . 65 (1): 9-26. doi : 10.1080 / 01944369908976031 . ISSN  0194-4363 .
  6. ^ Jump up to:b Innes, Judith (1995). Planning Theory’s Emerging Paradigm: Communicative Action and Interactive Practice . Journal of Planning Education and Research . 14 : 183-189. doi : 10.1177 / 0739456×9501400307 – via SAGE Journals.
  7. Jump up^ Erfan, Aftab (2016-11-21). „Confronting collective traumas: an exploration of therapeutic planning“ . Planning Theory & Practice . 0 (1): 1-17. doi :10.1080 / 14649357.2016.1249909 . ISSN  1464-9357 .
  8. Jump up^ Aftab, Erfan, (2013-09-09). „An experiment in therapeutic planning: learning with the Gwa’sala-‚Nakwaxda’xw First Nations“ . doi : 10.14288 / 1.0074273 .
  9. Jump up^ Fenster, Tovi (2016-09-16). The Global City and the Holy City: Narratives on Knowledge, Planning and Diversity . Routledge. ISBN  9781317880097 .
  10. Jump up^ Sandercock, Leonie; Attili, Giovanni (2014-01-16). „Changing the Lens Film as Action Research and Therapeutic Planning Practice“ . Journal of Planning Education and Research . 34 : 0739456X13516499. doi :10.1177 / 0739456X13516499 . ISSN  0739-456X .
  11. ^ Jump up to:c Gaffikin, Frank; Morrissey, Mike (2011). Collaborative shaping of contested space . Blackwell Publishing Ltd. ISBN  978-1-405-19218-7 .
  12. ^ Jump up to:b Innes, Judith E. (1998-03-31). „Information in Communicative Planning“ . Journal of the American Planning Association . 64 (1): 52-63. doi : 10.1080 / 01944369808975956 . ISSN  0194-4363 .
  13. ^ Jump up to:d Chakraborty, Arnab (2012-03-01). „Recognizing Uncertainty and Linked Decisions in Public Participation: A New Framework for Collaborative Urban Planning“ . Systems Research and Behavioral Science . 29 (2): 131-148. doi : 10.1002 / sres.2102 . ISSN  1099-1743 .
  14. ^ Jump up to:b Elwood (2002). Neighborhood Revitalization through Collaboration: Assessing the Implications of Neoliberal Urban Policy at the Grassroots. GeoJournal . 58 .
  15. ^ Jump up to:b Martin, J .; Pentel, P. (2002). „What the Neighbors Want: The Neighborhood Revitalization Program’s First Decade“. Journal of the American Planning Association . 68 (4): 435-449. doi : 10.1080 / 01944360208976284 .
  16. ^ Jump up to:c Fung (2006). „Empowered Participation in Urban Governance: The Minneapolis Revitalization Program“. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research . 30 (30): 638-655.
  17. ^ Jump up to:f Siranni, Carmen (2007). „Neighborhood Planning as Collaborative Design“. Journal of the American Planning Association . 73(4): 373-387.
  18. ^ Jump up to:c Diers, Jim (2004). Neighbor Power: Community Building the Seattle Way . Seattle: University of Washington Press.
  19. ^ Jump up to:c Kobler, A (2009). Building Community Capacity: How Collaborative Planning is Changing the Culture of Governance in Seattle . Iowa State University ProQuest Publishing Dissertations.
  20. ^ Jump up to:d Tewdwr-Jones, M .; Allmendinger, P. (1998-11-01). Deconstructing Communicative Rationality: A Critique of Habermasian Collaborative Planning . Environment and Planning A . 30 (11): 1975-1989. doi : 10.1068 / a301975 . ISSN  0308-518X .
  21. Jump up^ Flyvbjerg, Bent (1998-02-28). Rationality and Power: Democracy in Practice . University of Chicago Press. ISBN  9780226254494 .
  22. ^ Jump up to:b Innes, Judith E. (2004-03-01). „Consensus Building: Clarifications for the Critics“ . Planning Theory . 3 (1): 5-20. doi : 10.1177 / 1473095204042315 . ISSN  1473-0952 .
  23. ^ Jump up to:b Purcell, Mark (2009-05-01). „Resisting Neoliberalization: Communicative Planning or Counter-Hegemonic Movements?“ . Planning Theory . 8 (2): 140-165. doi : 10.1177 / 1473095209102232 . ISSN  1473-0952 .