Transformation of Citizenship? Direct Participation within Urban Planning Projects

Monday, 11 July 2016: 10:00
Location: Hörsaal 4C G (Neues Institutsgebäude (NIG))
Oral Presentation
Chantal MAGNIN, Institut fuer Sozialforschung, Germany
New and direct forms of citizen participation are being tested in urban planning projects. Within these processes the participants expect to be more involved, which leads to a concept of citizenship with a higher focus on political co-determination and proximity to political decision makers. Additionally, urban planning projects involve discussions around the reshaping of public spaces which are increasingly proving to be culturally sought after and of central importance for the common good of democratically organized communities. Informal forms of citizen participation in large urban planning projects represent a focal point of various normative perceptions of participation, democracy and urban life.

In my paper I will discuss the initial results from an ongoing research project which focuses on the expectations of citizens who are involved in these forms of participation. In this process the differing yet typical citizen understandings and perceptions of democratic decision-making will be applied. The reconstruction of these concepts of citizenship is interview-based. By comparing projects in Germany and Switzerland it will be possible to find out how the influence of institutional requirements can be weighted when attempting to answer the question according to specific normative patterns. Their comparison will facilitate the reconstruction of differences in the traditional interpretations of democracy and freedom in the context of the growth in importance of cities, their rapid development and the search for new patterns of adequate problem-solving.