Who speaks? And who listens? The relationship between planners and women’s participation in local planning in a multi-cultural urban environment


Summary, in English

In recent decades, the dominant planning discourse has undergone a great change from a previous top-down approach towards collaborative and communicative planning. Instead of merely planning for the people in a technocratic and positivist approach, planners are increasingly expected to pay attention to the voices of the citizens. However, within this new participatory approach there is a growing post-colonial and feminist critique pointing out that not all voices are being heard. This critique sheds light on inherent power relations within the collaborative and communicative planning discourse. In particular, the voices of women in marginalised neighbourhoods are often neglected (Sandercock Towards cosmopolis. Planning for multicultural cities. New York: Wiley, 1998; Cornwall World Development, 31(8), 1325–1342, 2003; Peleman Tijdschrift voor Economische en Sociale Geografie, 94(2), 151–163, 2003; Cameron and Grant-Smith Urban Policy and Research, 23(1), 21–36, 2005). Participatory planning in marginalised housing areas demands both a great sensibility to citizens’ everyday life worlds, and a more reflexive planner role. However, the complexities of the planner’s praxis and uncertainties in the planner’s roles become an obstacle to develop a more inclusive participatory approach. Difficulties of reaching out to the whole community is often recognised, but seldom fully dealt with, neither in theory, nor in practice.


  • Human Geography


  • Keywords Gender - Participatory planning - Planner’s role - Women




  • ISSN: 1572-9893