Town Planning Review

Performing planning: understanding community participation in planning through theatre

Town Planning Review (2017), 88, (4), 401–421.

Abstract

Greater public participation in planning has long been a goal for planning professionals. In practice what often takes place is the dreaded ‘community consultation’ process. There is often a gulf between a community’s enthusiasm and creativity on the one hand and the strictures of the statutory planning process on the other. This article reports on a performance-based project which explored issues of representation and legitimacy in participatory planning. The use of theatre to investigate participatory planning has proved to be a powerful tool which has sparked enthusiasm, interest and imagination.

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BAILEY, N. and PILL, M. (2015), ‘Can the state empower communities through localism? An evaluation of recent approaches to neighbourhood governance in England’, Environment & Planning C: Government and Policy, 33, 289–304. Can the state empower communities through localism? An evaluation of recent approaches to neighbourhood governance in England Environment & Planning C: Government and Policy 33 289 304 Google Scholar

BISHOP, J. (2015), The Craft of Collaborative Planning: People Working Together to Shape Creative and Sustainable Places, London, Routledge. The Craft of Collaborative Planning: People Working Together to Shape Creative and Sustainable Places Google Scholar

BOAL, A. (1995), The Rainbow of Desire: The Boal Method of Theatre and Therapy, London, Routledge. The Rainbow of Desire: The Boal Method of Theatre and Therapy, Google Scholar

BOAL, A. (1998), Legislative Theatre, London, Routledge. Legislative Theatre Google Scholar

BOAL, A. (2004), Theatre of the Oppressed, http:theatreoftheoppressed.org/en/index.php?useFlash=0 (accessed 9 February 2016). Google Scholar

BRADLEY, Q. (2015), ‘The political identities of neighbourhood planning in England’, Space and Polity, 19, 97–109. The political identities of neighbourhood planning in England Space and Polity 19 97 109 Google Scholar

BRODIE, E., COWLING, E. and NISSEN, N. (2009), Understanding Participation: A Literature Review, London, Institute for Volunteering Research, http://pathwaysthroughparticipation.org.uk (accessed 4 February 2016). Google Scholar

BROWNILL, S. (2009), ‘The dynamics of participation: modes of governance and increasing participation in planning’, Urban Policy & Research, 27, 357–75, doi: 10.1080/08111140903308842. The dynamics of participation: modes of governance and increasing participation in planning Urban Policy & Research 27 357 75 Google Scholar

CHAN, T. and GOLDTHORPE, J. (2015), ‘The social stratification of theatre, dance and cinema attendance’, Cultural Trends, 14, 193–212. The social stratification of theatre, dance and cinema attendance Cultural Trends 14 193 212 Google Scholar

COWIE, P. and DAVOUDI, S. (2015), ‘Is small really beautiful? The legitimacy of neighbourhood planning’, in S. Davoudi and A. Madanipour, (eds), Reconsidering Localism, London, Routledge, 168–89. Is small really beautiful? The legitimacy of neighbourhood planning Reconsidering Localism 168 89 Google Scholar

COWIE, P., VIGAR, G., DAVOUDI, S. and MADANIPOUR, A. (2015), ‘Hyper-local planning in England: territorial governance at the neighbourhood scale’, in P. Schmitt and L. Van Well (eds), Territorial Governance across Europe: Pathways, Practices and Prospects, London, Routledge, 67–80. Hyper-local planning in England: territorial governance at the neighbourhood scale Territorial Governance across Europe: Pathways, Practices and Prospects 67 80 Google Scholar

DAMER, S. and HAGUE, C. (1971), ‘Public participation in planning: a review’, Town Planning Review, 42, 217–32. Public participation in planning: a review Town Planning Review 42 217 32 Google Scholar

DAVOUDI, S. (2013), ‘On democracy, representation beyond the ballot box’, disP, The Planning Review, 49, 4–5. On democracy, representation beyond the ballot box The Planning Review 49 4 5 Google Scholar

DAVOUDI, S. and COWIE, P. (2013), ‘Are English neighbourhood forums democratically legitimate?’, Planning Theory & Practice, 14, 562–66, doi: 10.1080/14649357.2013.851880. Are English neighbourhood forums democratically legitimate? Planning Theory & Practice 14 562 66 Google Scholar

DEAN, R. (2016), ‘Beyond radicalism and resignation: the competing logics for public participation in policy decisions’, Policy & Politics, online only, doi: 10.1332/030557316X14531466517034. Beyond radicalism and resignation: the competing logics for public participation in policy decisions Policy & Politics Google Scholar

DENZIN, N. (2003), Performance Ethnography: Critical Pedagogy and the Politics of Culture, Thousand Oaks, CA, Sage. Performance Ethnography: Critical Pedagogy and the Politics of Culture Google Scholar

DOLAN, J. (2005), Utopia in Performance: Finding Hope at the Theatre, Ann Arbor, University of Michigan Press. Utopia in Performance: Finding Hope at the Theatre Google Scholar

FARNSWORTH, D. (2011), ‘A network route to localism in planning’, Town & Country Planning, 80, 128–32. A network route to localism in planning Town & Country Planning 80 128 32 Google Scholar

FUNG, A. (2006), ‘Varieties of participation in complex governance’, Public Administration Review, 66, 66–75. Varieties of participation in complex governance Public Administration Review 66 66 75 Google Scholar

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GALLENT, N. (2013), ‘Re-connecting “people and planning”: parish plans and the English localism agenda’, Town Planning Review, 84, 371–96, doi: 10.3838/tpr.2013.20. Re-connecting “people and planning”: parish plans and the English localism agenda Town Planning Review 84 371 96 Google Scholar

GALLENT, N., HAMIDUDDIN, I. and MADEDDU, M. (2013), ‘Localism, down-scaling and the strategic dilemmas confronting planning in England’, Town Planning Review, 84, 563–82, doi:10.3828/tpr.2013.30. Localism, down-scaling and the strategic dilemmas confronting planning in England Town Planning Review 84 563 82 Google Scholar

GALLENT, N.and ROBINSON, S.(2012), Neighbourhood Planning: Communities, Networks and Governance, Bristol, The Policy Press. Neighbourhood Planning: Communities, Networks and Governance Google Scholar

GOFFMAN, E. (1959), The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life, London, Penguin Press. The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life Google Scholar

HEALEY, P. (2006), Collaborative Planning: Shaping Places in Fragmented Societies, London, Macmillan. Collaborative Planning: Shaping Places in Fragmented Societies Google Scholar

HEALEY, P. (2010), Making Better Places: The Planning Project in the Twenty-First Century, London, Palgrave Macmillan. Making Better Places: The Planning Project in the Twenty-First Century Google Scholar

HEALEY, P. (2016), Innovation and Transformative Change in Place Governance (paper presented to the Innovations in Spatial Planning seminar, February 2016), Erkner, Germany, IRS. Innovation and Transformative Change in Place Governance Google Scholar

HERAS, M. and TABARA, D. (2015), ‘Conservation theatre: mirroring experiences and performing stories in community management of natural resources’, Society and Natural Resources, online publication, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/08941920.2015.1095375 (accessed 10 March 2016). Google Scholar

HILLIER, J. and HEALEY, P. (2008), Contemporary Movements in Planning Theory: Critical Essays in Planning Theory, vol. 3, Ashgate, Aldershot. Contemporary Movements in Planning Theory: Critical Essays in Planning Theory Google Scholar

JUDGE, D. (2013), ‘“Word from the street”: when non-electoral representative claims meet electoral representation in the United Kingdom’, British Politics, 8, 388–409. “Word from the street”: when non-electoral representative claims meet electoral representation in the United Kingdom British Politics 8 388 409 Google Scholar

LOWNDES, V., PRATCHETT, L. and STOKER, G. (2001), ‘Trends in public participation, part 2: citizens’ perspectives’, Public Administration, 79, 445–55. Trends in public participation, part 2: citizens’ perspectives Public Administration 79 445 55 Google Scholar

PARKER, G., LYNN, T. and WARGENT, M. (2015), ‘Sticking to the script? The co-production of neighbourhood planning in England’, Town Planning Review, 86, 519–36, doi:10.3828/tpr2015.31. Sticking to the script? The co-production of neighbourhood planning in England Town Planning Review 86 519 36 Google Scholar

PARKER, G. and STREET, E. (2015), ‘Planning at the neighbourhood scale: localism, dialogic politics, and the modulation of community action’, Environment & Planning C: Government and Policy, 33, 794–810, doi:10.1068/c1363. Planning at the neighbourhood scale: localism, dialogic politics, and the modulation of community action Environment & Planning C: Government and Policy 33 794 810 Google Scholar

PITKIN, H., (1967)., The Concept of Representation, Berkeley, University of California Press. The Concept of Representation Google Scholar

RANNILA, P. and LOIVARANTA, T. (2015), ‘Planning as dramaturgy: agonistic approaches to spatial enactment’, International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 39, 788–806, doi:10.1111/1468-2427.12214. Planning as dramaturgy: agonistic approaches to spatial enactment International Journal of Urban and Regional Research 39 788 806 Google Scholar

RAWLS, J. (1993), Political Liberalism, New York, Colombia University Press. Political Liberalism Google Scholar

SAWARD, M. (2000), ‘Less than meets the eye: democratic legitimacy and deliberative theory’, in M. Saward (ed.), Democratic Innovation: Deliberation, Representation and Association, Abingdon, Routledge, 66–77. Less than meets the eye: democratic legitimacy and deliberative theory Democratic Innovation: Deliberation, Representation and Association 66 77 Google Scholar

SAWARD, M. (2006), ‘The representative claim’, Contemporary Political Theory, 5, 297–318. The representative claim Contemporary Political Theory 5 297 318 Google Scholar

SKEFFINGTON COMMITTEE (1970), People and Planning: Report of the Committee on Public Participation in Planning (the Skeffington Committee Report), London, Routledge. Google Scholar

STURZAKER, J. and SHAW, D. (2015), ‘Localism in practice: lessons from a pioneer neighbourhood plan in England’, Town Planning Review, 86, 587–609, doi:10.3828/tpr.2015.34. Localism in practice: lessons from a pioneer neighbourhood plan in England Town Planning Review 86 587 609 Google Scholar

WATSON, V. (2014), ‘Co-production and collaboration in planning: the difference’, Planning Theory & Practice, 15, 62–76, doi: 10.1080/14649357.2013.866266. Co-production and collaboration in planning: the difference Planning Theory & Practice 15 62 76 Google Scholar

ARNSTEIN, S., (1969), ‘A ladder of citizen participation’, Journal of the American Institute of Planners, 35, 216–24. A ladder of citizen participation Journal of the American Institute of Planners 35 216 24 Google Scholar

BAILEY, N. and PILL, M. (2015), ‘Can the state empower communities through localism? An evaluation of recent approaches to neighbourhood governance in England’, Environment & Planning C: Government and Policy, 33, 289–304. Can the state empower communities through localism? An evaluation of recent approaches to neighbourhood governance in England Environment & Planning C: Government and Policy 33 289 304 Google Scholar

BISHOP, J. (2015), The Craft of Collaborative Planning: People Working Together to Shape Creative and Sustainable Places, London, Routledge. The Craft of Collaborative Planning: People Working Together to Shape Creative and Sustainable Places Google Scholar

BOAL, A. (1995), The Rainbow of Desire: The Boal Method of Theatre and Therapy, London, Routledge. The Rainbow of Desire: The Boal Method of Theatre and Therapy, Google Scholar

BOAL, A. (1998), Legislative Theatre, London, Routledge. Legislative Theatre Google Scholar

BOAL, A. (2004), Theatre of the Oppressed, http:theatreoftheoppressed.org/en/index.php?useFlash=0 (accessed 9 February 2016). Google Scholar

BRADLEY, Q. (2015), ‘The political identities of neighbourhood planning in England’, Space and Polity, 19, 97–109. The political identities of neighbourhood planning in England Space and Polity 19 97 109 Google Scholar

BRODIE, E., COWLING, E. and NISSEN, N. (2009), Understanding Participation: A Literature Review, London, Institute for Volunteering Research, http://pathwaysthroughparticipation.org.uk (accessed 4 February 2016). Google Scholar

BROWNILL, S. (2009), ‘The dynamics of participation: modes of governance and increasing participation in planning’, Urban Policy & Research, 27, 357–75, doi: 10.1080/08111140903308842. The dynamics of participation: modes of governance and increasing participation in planning Urban Policy & Research 27 357 75 Google Scholar

CHAN, T. and GOLDTHORPE, J. (2015), ‘The social stratification of theatre, dance and cinema attendance’, Cultural Trends, 14, 193–212. The social stratification of theatre, dance and cinema attendance Cultural Trends 14 193 212 Google Scholar

COWIE, P. and DAVOUDI, S. (2015), ‘Is small really beautiful? The legitimacy of neighbourhood planning’, in S. Davoudi and A. Madanipour, (eds), Reconsidering Localism, London, Routledge, 168–89. Is small really beautiful? The legitimacy of neighbourhood planning Reconsidering Localism 168 89 Google Scholar

COWIE, P., VIGAR, G., DAVOUDI, S. and MADANIPOUR, A. (2015), ‘Hyper-local planning in England: territorial governance at the neighbourhood scale’, in P. Schmitt and L. Van Well (eds), Territorial Governance across Europe: Pathways, Practices and Prospects, London, Routledge, 67–80. Hyper-local planning in England: territorial governance at the neighbourhood scale Territorial Governance across Europe: Pathways, Practices and Prospects 67 80 Google Scholar

DAMER, S. and HAGUE, C. (1971), ‘Public participation in planning: a review’, Town Planning Review, 42, 217–32. Public participation in planning: a review Town Planning Review 42 217 32 Google Scholar

DAVOUDI, S. (2013), ‘On democracy, representation beyond the ballot box’, disP, The Planning Review, 49, 4–5. On democracy, representation beyond the ballot box The Planning Review 49 4 5 Google Scholar

DAVOUDI, S. and COWIE, P. (2013), ‘Are English neighbourhood forums democratically legitimate?’, Planning Theory & Practice, 14, 562–66, doi: 10.1080/14649357.2013.851880. Are English neighbourhood forums democratically legitimate? Planning Theory & Practice 14 562 66 Google Scholar

DEAN, R. (2016), ‘Beyond radicalism and resignation: the competing logics for public participation in policy decisions’, Policy & Politics, online only, doi: 10.1332/030557316X14531466517034. Beyond radicalism and resignation: the competing logics for public participation in policy decisions Policy & Politics Google Scholar

DENZIN, N. (2003), Performance Ethnography: Critical Pedagogy and the Politics of Culture, Thousand Oaks, CA, Sage. Performance Ethnography: Critical Pedagogy and the Politics of Culture Google Scholar

DOLAN, J. (2005), Utopia in Performance: Finding Hope at the Theatre, Ann Arbor, University of Michigan Press. Utopia in Performance: Finding Hope at the Theatre Google Scholar

FARNSWORTH, D. (2011), ‘A network route to localism in planning’, Town & Country Planning, 80, 128–32. A network route to localism in planning Town & Country Planning 80 128 32 Google Scholar

FUNG, A. (2006), ‘Varieties of participation in complex governance’, Public Administration Review, 66, 66–75. Varieties of participation in complex governance Public Administration Review 66 66 75 Google Scholar

FUNG, A. (2015), ‘Putting the public back into governance: the challenges of citizen participation and its future’, Public Administration Review, 75, 513–22. Putting the public back into governance: the challenges of citizen participation and its future Public Administration Review 75 513 22 Google Scholar

GALLENT, N. (2013), ‘Re-connecting “people and planning”: parish plans and the English localism agenda’, Town Planning Review, 84, 371–96, doi: 10.3838/tpr.2013.20. Re-connecting “people and planning”: parish plans and the English localism agenda Town Planning Review 84 371 96 Google Scholar

GALLENT, N., HAMIDUDDIN, I. and MADEDDU, M. (2013), ‘Localism, down-scaling and the strategic dilemmas confronting planning in England’, Town Planning Review, 84, 563–82, doi:10.3828/tpr.2013.30. Localism, down-scaling and the strategic dilemmas confronting planning in England Town Planning Review 84 563 82 Google Scholar

GALLENT, N.and ROBINSON, S.(2012), Neighbourhood Planning: Communities, Networks and Governance, Bristol, The Policy Press. Neighbourhood Planning: Communities, Networks and Governance Google Scholar

GOFFMAN, E. (1959), The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life, London, Penguin Press. The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life Google Scholar

HEALEY, P. (2006), Collaborative Planning: Shaping Places in Fragmented Societies, London, Macmillan. Collaborative Planning: Shaping Places in Fragmented Societies Google Scholar

HEALEY, P. (2010), Making Better Places: The Planning Project in the Twenty-First Century, London, Palgrave Macmillan. Making Better Places: The Planning Project in the Twenty-First Century Google Scholar

HEALEY, P. (2016), Innovation and Transformative Change in Place Governance (paper presented to the Innovations in Spatial Planning seminar, February 2016), Erkner, Germany, IRS. Innovation and Transformative Change in Place Governance Google Scholar

HERAS, M. and TABARA, D. (2015), ‘Conservation theatre: mirroring experiences and performing stories in community management of natural resources’, Society and Natural Resources, online publication, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/08941920.2015.1095375 (accessed 10 March 2016). Google Scholar

HILLIER, J. and HEALEY, P. (2008), Contemporary Movements in Planning Theory: Critical Essays in Planning Theory, vol. 3, Ashgate, Aldershot. Contemporary Movements in Planning Theory: Critical Essays in Planning Theory Google Scholar

JUDGE, D. (2013), ‘“Word from the street”: when non-electoral representative claims meet electoral representation in the United Kingdom’, British Politics, 8, 388–409. “Word from the street”: when non-electoral representative claims meet electoral representation in the United Kingdom British Politics 8 388 409 Google Scholar

LOWNDES, V., PRATCHETT, L. and STOKER, G. (2001), ‘Trends in public participation, part 2: citizens’ perspectives’, Public Administration, 79, 445–55. Trends in public participation, part 2: citizens’ perspectives Public Administration 79 445 55 Google Scholar

PARKER, G., LYNN, T. and WARGENT, M. (2015), ‘Sticking to the script? The co-production of neighbourhood planning in England’, Town Planning Review, 86, 519–36, doi:10.3828/tpr2015.31. Sticking to the script? The co-production of neighbourhood planning in England Town Planning Review 86 519 36 Google Scholar

PARKER, G. and STREET, E. (2015), ‘Planning at the neighbourhood scale: localism, dialogic politics, and the modulation of community action’, Environment & Planning C: Government and Policy, 33, 794–810, doi:10.1068/c1363. Planning at the neighbourhood scale: localism, dialogic politics, and the modulation of community action Environment & Planning C: Government and Policy 33 794 810 Google Scholar

PITKIN, H., (1967)., The Concept of Representation, Berkeley, University of California Press. The Concept of Representation Google Scholar

RANNILA, P. and LOIVARANTA, T. (2015), ‘Planning as dramaturgy: agonistic approaches to spatial enactment’, International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 39, 788–806, doi:10.1111/1468-2427.12214. Planning as dramaturgy: agonistic approaches to spatial enactment International Journal of Urban and Regional Research 39 788 806 Google Scholar

RAWLS, J. (1993), Political Liberalism, New York, Colombia University Press. Political Liberalism Google Scholar

SAWARD, M. (2000), ‘Less than meets the eye: democratic legitimacy and deliberative theory’, in M. Saward (ed.), Democratic Innovation: Deliberation, Representation and Association, Abingdon, Routledge, 66–77. Less than meets the eye: democratic legitimacy and deliberative theory Democratic Innovation: Deliberation, Representation and Association 66 77 Google Scholar

SAWARD, M. (2006), ‘The representative claim’, Contemporary Political Theory, 5, 297–318. The representative claim Contemporary Political Theory 5 297 318 Google Scholar

SKEFFINGTON COMMITTEE (1970), People and Planning: Report of the Committee on Public Participation in Planning (the Skeffington Committee Report), London, Routledge. Google Scholar

STURZAKER, J. and SHAW, D. (2015), ‘Localism in practice: lessons from a pioneer neighbourhood plan in England’, Town Planning Review, 86, 587–609, doi:10.3828/tpr.2015.34. Localism in practice: lessons from a pioneer neighbourhood plan in England Town Planning Review 86 587 609 Google Scholar

WATSON, V. (2014), ‘Co-production and collaboration in planning: the difference’, Planning Theory & Practice, 15, 62–76, doi: 10.1080/14649357.2013.866266. Co-production and collaboration in planning: the difference Planning Theory & Practice 15 62 76 Google Scholar

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Cowie, Paul