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Title: Discourse politics of public participation : the role of planners and the London Plan 2000-2004
Author: Yamamoto, A.
Awarding Body: University College London (University of London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2013
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This thesis conceptualises public participation from a social constructivist perspective and analyses the role of planners in promoting public participation during the process of formulating the first London Plan at the Greater London Authority (GLA) from 2000 to 2004. This thesis argues that the language of public participation is not used politically for describing extra-discursive realities about public participation. Instead, it is used performatively and, as such, the politics of public participation involves a struggle between actors over the institutionalisation of particular configurations of social relations around the planning process. It also argues that this struggle is strategic and directed at the achievement of certain planning outcomes, which would be more difficult if another configuration were institutionalised. Therefore, this thesis analyses the storylines of public participation as a significant category of political analysis, and investigates the strategic use of participatory storylines by the GLA planners as they struggled over competing planning agendas. This is conduced also in the context of a variety of interests of other actors that competed against that of the planners during the London Plan making process. The research contributes to an understanding of how planners conceptualise public participation in a variety of innovative ways through performative discursive actions and how they shape planning outcomes by altering existing social relations within planning processes. It also demonstrates how their discursive actions have limited influence in planning institutions with unequal authority positions and how the planning outcomes are seemingly determined by structural forces beyond their control. Social constructivist perspective that focuses on analyzing planners’ personal dynamics helps to highlight the creative ways in which planners deal with and effectively manage competing knowledge, interests and agendas on public participation. It also contributes to clarifying areas of further research in exploring the limits and possibilities that public participation offer to planners within contemporary planning practices.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available