What Do We Mean When We Talk About Participatory Urbanism? An Analysis Of Different Ways Of Understanding Citizen Participation In Urban Planning


In opposition to the traditional way of conceiving and practising urbanism (only managed by technicians and politicians) and neo- liberal models in which the private sector is getting more importance in the definition of urban space, an alternative model called participative urbanism is arousing. This new urban governance model demands the right to the city and an citizens' active role in decision-taking regarding to city morphology and uses, something which has traditionally been vetoed to them, seems to have flourished in this second decade of the 21st century, and within the context of Network Society, has found an opportunity of development without precedents.

A proof of the popularity of this concept can be seen in the fact that nowadays there are many publications regarding participative urbanism from different point of views and also in the increasing number of practical examples of participative initiatives which have been materialised within the urbanism context. However, it is also true that it is difficult to find similarities in a significant number of cases which go beyond the fact of being something participative or being inscribed within a urban context.

This research takes this facts as starting points and tries to answer to an apparently trivial question What do we really mean when talking about participative urbanism? which in fact conceals the suspicion that although it may seem that everyone talks about the same when talking about participative urbanism there are indeed different ways of understanding not only what participative urbanism is or which goals pursues but the way in which is materialized.

Master’s Theses
Carlos Cámara-Menoyo
Carlos Cámara-Menoyo
Architect. PhD. Lecturer. Life-long Learner. Transdisciplinary.

I love learning, teaching and researching, as well as sharing and visualizing data, specially with maps. I have a technical and social background and my multiple research interests are centered around the commodifications between cities, technology and society within informationalism and free culture paradigm. So far, I have applied that approach on the topic of social and spatial inequities.