top of page

know resources- papers

Partiipation as planning
'Participation as Planning': Strategies from the South to Challenge the Limits of Planning

Published in Built Environment Journal, 45(2)

This paper was nominated and shortlisted for the AESOP Best Published Paper Award 2020  by the Association of European Schools of Planning


Participation and collaborative approaches to planning have become central in urban debates and practices. Critiques about the limitations of 'participation in planning', however, have led to the development of a series of approaches that build beyond 'collaborative' understandings of planning. Approaches such as insurgent or postcollaborative planning, movement-initiated co-production, socio-spatial learning, agonistic practices or participation as political have moved the understanding of planning towards a wider spectrum of city-making practices, beyond disciplinary and professional boundaries, and in which some forms of participation become the very practice of planning. This article builds on those debates, proposing an understanding of 'participation as planning'. Building on Southern urban theory and recognizing the difference between a discussion about participation and one that looks at planning through participation, the article proposes to recognize that there is a range of experiences of participatory city-making taking place in urban contexts, some of which fall into one of the referred categories, while others have remained as a 'blind-spot' in planning debates. The article identifies and discusses a series of strategies that have emerged from Southern contexts, and that represent ways of dealing with planning limits: collective forms of spatial production that respond to the inadequacy of planning instruments to engage with diverse processes of city-making situated beyond dominant practices; partnership-oriented practices that react to the neoliberalization and financialization of planning; and advocacyoriented practices to contest abusive planning practices which violate human rights.

Suggested citations: Frediani, A.A. and Cociña, C. (2019). 'Participation as Planning': Strategies from the South to Challenge the Limits of Planning. Built Environment 45(2), 143-161.


If you have problems accessing this article, please contact please contact

Related Content 

bottom of page