Learning from Arnstein's Ladder : From Citizen Participation to Public Engagement book cover
1st Edition

Learning from Arnstein's Ladder
From Citizen Participation to Public Engagement

ISBN 9780367258238
Published October 13, 2020 by Routledge
362 Pages 33 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Sherry Arnstein, writing in 1969 about citizen involvement in planning processes in the United States, described a “ladder of citizen participation” that showed participation ranging from low to high. Arnstein depicted the failings of typical participation processes at the time and characterized aspirations toward engagement that have now been elevated to core values in planning practice. But since that time, the political, economic, and social context has evolved greatly, and planners, organizers, and residents have been involved in planning and community development practice in ways previously unforeseen.

Learning from Arnstein’s Ladder draws on contemporary theory, expertise, empirical analysis, and practical applications in what is now more commonly termed public engagement in planning to examine the enduring impacts of Arnstein’s work and the pervasive challenges that planners face in advancing meaningful public engagement. This book presents research from throughout the world, including Australia, Brazil, India, Indonesia, Portugal, Serbia, and the United States, among others, that utilizes, critiques, revises, and expands upon Arnstein’s aspirational vision. It is essential reading for educators and students of planning.

Table of Contents


Chapter 1. Introduction: Learning from Arnstein’s Ladder: From Citizen Participation to Public Engagement

Mickey Lauria and Carissa Slotterback

Section 1. Institutionalizing Public Engagement

Chapter 2. Building "A Ladder of Citizen Participation": Sherry Arnstein, Citizen Participation, and Model Cities

John Gaber

Chapter 3. The Scaling-up of Participatory Budgeting: Insights from Brazil and Portugal

Roberto Falanga and Igor Ferraz da Fonseca

Chapter 4. Defining Partnership: Incorporating Equitable Participatory Methodologies in Heritage Disaster Recovery Planning for Socially Vulnerable Groups

Jamesah Gibson, Marccus Hendricks and Jeremy Wells

Chapter 5. Community-based Village Planning for the Reconstruction of Post-tsunami and Post-conflict Aceh, Indonesia: Participatory Planning in Practice

Erwin Fahmi and Handi Chandra-Putra

Section 2. Public Engagement as Power Sharing

Chapter 6. Citizen Participation in Transitional Society: The Evolution of Participatory Planning in Serbia

Ana Peric

Chapter 7. Informing to Placation: Locating Public Participation in Planning Bangalore on Arnstein's Ladder

Salila Vanka

Chapter 8. The Relationship between Citizen Participation and the Just City: Does More Participation Produce More Equitable Outcomes?

Susan S. Fainstein and Adam Lubinsky

Chapter 9. Rethinking Arnstein's Ladder: Community Benefits Agreements and the Quest for Greater Public Participation

Ralph Rosado

Section 3. Public Engagement as Power Redistribution

Chapter 10. Learning from Arnstein, Meadows, Boggs, and Lorde: Propositions on Building Collective Power for Climate Justice & Resilience

Elizabeth Walsh and Barbara Brown Wilson

Chapter 11. Time, Place and Voice in Public Art

Salina M. Almanzar and Andrew Zitcer

Chapter 12. Jumping off the Ladder: Participation and Insurgency in Detroit's Urban Planning

Allison Blackmond Laskey and Walter Nicholls

Chapter 13. Participation in Postpolitical Times: Protesting WestConnex in Sydney, Australia

Graham Haughton and Phil McManus

Section 4. Public Engagement in Planning Education and Research

Chapter 14. Participation, Inclusion, and Voice in Neighborhood Planning

Jane Rongerude

Chapter 15. A Bridge to Civic Empowerment: A Rooted University Approach to Creating Equitable Community-Academic Partnership and Just Power Relations

Mirle Rabinowitz-Bussell, Leslie R. Lewis, Kelsey Lindner, Keith Pezzoli, William T. Oswald and Paul Watson

Chapter 16. Building the Foundation for Arnstein’s Ladder: Community Empowerment through a Participatory Neighborhood Narrative

Laura Dedenbach, Kathryn Frank, Kristin Larsen and Tyeshia Redden

Chapter 17. Time for a Rope Ladder? A Youth-Driven Process for Developing a Youth Advisory Council

Krishna Arunkumar, Drew D. Bowman, Stephanie E. Coen, Mohammad A. El-Bagdady, Christina R. Ergler, Jason A. Gilliland, Ahad Mahmood and Suraj Paul

Section 5. Building Public Engagement in the 2020s

Chapter 18. Looking Ahead: Public Engagement in Urban Planning Research, Practice, and Education

Mickey Lauria and Carissa Slotterback


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Mickey Lauria is a Professor of City and Regional Planning and Director of the transdisciplinary Ph.D. program in Planning, Design, and the Built Environment at Clemson University. He has served as President of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning and has edited the Journal of Planning Education and Research and co-edited Town Planning Review while serving on the editorial boards of four planning research journals. He has published articles on urban schooling, community-based development organizations, urban redevelopment, and the politics of planning in planning, geography, and urban studies journals. His recent research interests include professional planners’ ethical frameworks, neighborhood  conditions and planning issues involving race and class, and conservation easements and affordable housing. He has taught and researched planning issues throughout the United States and in Australia and Europe including Austria, England, France, Italy, and Poland.

Carissa Schively Slotterback is a Professor and Dean of the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Pittsburgh. Her research is focused on stakeholder engagement and decision-making in environmental and land use planning. She has led a number of initiatives focused on interdisciplinary and engaged research and education, including co-founding and directing the Resilient Communities Project, which builds community–university partnerships to advance sustainability. She also previously served as Director of Research Engagement in the University of Minnesota’s Office of the Vice President for Research, where she created and implemented multiple initiatives to advance collaborative and engaged research within the university and with external partners. She is the Vice President/President-Elect of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning and was inducted in 2018 as a Fellow of the American Institute of Certified Planners.