Citizens increasingly want to become active participants in urban planning and governments increasingly put in effort to ensure inclusive planning processes. This paper analyzes the institutional work that underlies the attempt to institutionalize a more active role of citizens in urban planning. It draws on a case in which a group of citizens aims to redevelop a brownfield site into a vital urban area. This citizens’ initiative is co-creating a new form of urban planning with the municipality, private organizations and individual citizens. The study shows how citizens’ initiatives can be a driver for institutional change, but that uncertainties about new institutions tend to reinforce the maintenance of existing ones. This paradox explains why even if the ambition for a new form of planning is widely shared, actually realizing institutional change can still be difficult and time-consuming.
Bisschops, S., & Beunen, R. (2018). A new role for citizens’ initiatives: the difficulties in co-creating institutional change in urban planning. Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, 1-16.