Increasingly, local governments around the world are claiming their work is “participatory,” and while community engagement can be empowering, there are still persistent challenges, particularly for historically disenfranchised communities. When successful, P2 can facilitate legitimacy, promote collaborative problem-solving and help correct structural inequities; but it can also reinforce existing power inequities and undermine benefits.
How residents perceive participatory processes may differ greatly from how practitioners perceive the same process. This session from the 2019 IAP2 North American Conference is one which attendees told us should be shared via a webinar. Allison Smith of the City of Louisville, KY, and Daniel DeCaro of the University of Louisville will discuss the research of a transdisciplinary team that looked into the ways institutional and systemic racism shape residents’ perception of a city’s governance practices and inform how to improve the public participation process.
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