Paper by Nicole Peterson, AICP.
Public participation in community and regional planning is both imperative and problematic. The purpose of this paper is to draw attention to the importance of public participation in planning, explain the barriers to implementation, and provide recommendations to improve public involvement in community and regional planning.
Interesting description of how participation in planning processes evolved in the US:
The American civil rights movement of the 1960s and 1970s brought citizen involvement to the forefront of planning and politics. The combination of political scandals (e.g. assassinations, Vietnam, Watergate), environmental degradation (e.g. Cleveland’s Cuyahoga River fire in 1969) and the sweeping urban renewal of the early 1900’s sparked citizen engagement in this period. Diane Day writes, “Significant interest [in citizen participation] began in the 1960s and 1970s as North America was in the midst of what appeared to be a countercultural revolution.” (Day, 1997, p. 421) The ‘countercultural revolution’ as Day calls it is a symbol of the unrest and distrust in government that led to citizens exercising their rights to engage in planning and democracy in America.
Read more here [PDF].