1st Edition

Joint Fact-Finding in Urban Planning and Environmental Disputes

Edited By Masahiro Matsuura, Todd Schenk Copyright 2017
    234 Pages 29 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    234 Pages 29 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    The days of rationalist scientific management and deference to official data are behind us. The credibility of experts and the information they provide are regularly challenged; officials are routinely provided with conflicting sets of facts as they plan and make decisions; and decision makers and stakeholders alike are largely skeptical that technical information will adequately account for the various interests and concerns and lead to the right outcomes. They struggle to reconcile technical information with other forms of knowledge, and differing interests, priorities and perspectives. Issues like climate change are complicating matters even further, as scientists and technicians must increasingly acknowledge the uncertainty and potential fallibility of their findings, and highlight the dynamic nature of the systems they are explaining.

    This book examines how groups looking to plan and make decisions in any number of areas can wade through the imperfect and often contradictory information they have to make fair, efficient, wise and well-informed choices. It introduces an emerging and very promising approach called joint fact-finding (JFF). Rather than each stakeholder group marshaling the set of facts that best advance their respective interests and perspectives while discrediting the contradictory facts others provide, groups are challenged to collaboratively generate shared sets of facts that all parties accept. This book introduces readers to the theory of JFF, the value it can provide, and how they can adopt this approach in practice. It brings together writings from leading practitioners and scholars from around the world that are at the forefront of the JFF approach to science intensive policymaking, urban planning, and environmental dispute resolution. The first set of chapters outlines the concept of JFF, and situates it within other bodies of theory and practice. The second set of case-based chapters elucidates how JFF is being applied in practice.

    This book delivers a new perspective to scholars in the field of public policy, urban planning, environmental studies, and science and technology studies, as well as public officials, technical experts, policy consultants, and professional facilitators.

    Foreword , Introduction Theory and Practice of Joint Fact-Finding  1. Joint Fact-Finding and Collaborative Adaptive Management  2. Humble Inquiry: The Practice of "Joint Fact Finding"  3. Role of Science in Environmental Dispute Resolution  4. Science and Policy: Better Decisions through Join Fact-Finding and Collaboration   5. Implications of JFF to Science–Policy Interface  6. Emerging Practice for Adaptive Governance  7. Energy Policy Cases  8. Nuclear Power Joint Fact-Finding  9. Environmental Cases  10. Water Resource Cases  11. Joint fact-finding in Japan  12. Joint fact-finding in Netherlands/Europe  13. Conclusion


    Cover image kindly provided by Dr. Peter Adler


    Masahiro Matsuura is a Professor at the Graduate School of Governance Studies, Meiji University, Japan. He is also the head of Democracy Design Lab., a not-for-profit organization for promoting democratic engagements in Japan, and one of the co-founders of Consensus Building in Asia, a network of practitioners and scholars interested in collaborative processes in Asia. He received his doctoral degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a focus on urban studies and public policy in 2006. His publications include Jissen-Kosho Gaku ("Practical negotiation theory" in Japanese: Chikuma Publishing), Localizing Public Dispute Resolution in Japan (VDM-Verlag), and Using Assisted Negotiation to Settle Land Use Disputes (Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, co-authored with Larry Susskind and Ole Amundsen). His research interests include the theory and practice of consensus building, negotiation, and deliberative democracy in the urban and environmental planning sectors particularly in the Asian context.

    Todd Schenk is an Assistant Professor in the Urban Affairs and Planning Program of the School of Public and International Affairs at Virginia Tech, USA. He holds both a Ph.D. in Public Policy and Planning and a Master in City Planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a B.A. from the University of Guelph. Todd has extensive research and consulting experience working on environmental policy and planning and collaborative governance issues in North America, Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East. His current work focuses on the adaptation of infrastructure to climate change, and community involvement in public sector decision-making. He is particularly focused on tools for collaboratively managing uncertainty and making decisions in situations with high degrees of complexity, dynamic conditions, and institutional ambiguity. Todd regularly employs serious games as a means to engage stakeholders in action research.