Facilitating Collaborative Decision Development in Urban Planning [Theme: Tools for Interaction in Urban Planning]

Knut Strömberg


Urban planning issues often involve complex functional interdependencies, conflicting values and cultural clashes among stakeholders. The emerging forms of governance, with direct and open interaction between planning agencies and diverse stakeholders among individuals, business and different organisations, require new forms of working and communication. Here two applications of an approach for the management of complexity, uncertainty and conflict are described. Attention is paid to power-relations and their influences on collaboration for the development of creative synthesis and decisions.
The approach proved to be efficient for the management of complex decision development processes, but there are some democratic risks when applied in public planning. The way of working is time consuming and the outcome is to a great extent dependent on the ability of the process-leaders and the commitment of the participants.
A new professionalism is developing for managing collaboration,
and for facilitation of complex urban planning issues.
The close points of similarity between design processes and processes
for decision development make it appropriate to develop an education
for process-leading and facilitation in co-operation with schools
of architecture and planning.

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