Informalizing participation: Insights from Chicago and Johannesburg

Yasminah Beebeejaun, David Vanderhoven

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper argues that formal participation in planning remains simplistic and enhances community conflict. The increasing diversity of the public makes traditional forms of representation increasingly problematic. There is a need to situate formal participation within increasingly informal forms of participation between state and citizens. Qualitative research in Chicago and Johannesburg illustrates the difficulties caused by formal participation but calls for more complex and sympathetic analyses of communities. The representative nature of those voices can often be a cause for concern; without the means to assess the nature or quality of representations, planners and others are faced with dilemmas in harnessing collective voice. © 2010 Taylor & Francis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)283-296
Number of pages13
JournalPlanning Practice and Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2010


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