Relying on the results of a large survey research project in western New York State, the author compares the environmental planning beliefs of public officials and citizens. His major finding is that, although leaders involved in water quality planning projects and the public share similar views on environmental issues, these leaders are by far the worst predictors of citizens' views. Professor Kamieniecki's systematic probing of the determinants that make some officials more adept than others at accurate calculation of public preference uncovers imbalanced public representation due to several factors. He concludes with an evaluation of citizen participatory mechanisms and consequent recommendations designed to elicit a wide range of public opinion, a prerequisite for acceptable environmental planning.
Table of Contents
Introduction -- Public Participation and Representation -- The Research Project -- Comparing Leaders' and Citizens' Views, and Leaders' Predictions of Citizens' Views -- The Perceptual Accuracy of Leaders -- Recommendations for Broadening Public Input into Environmental Planning -- Appendix A -- Appendix B
Sheldon Kamieniecki is assistant professor of political science, California State College at San Bernardino.