Citizen-Centered Cities, Volume I: Case Studies of Public Involvement
Modern cities are increasingly involving citizens in decisions that affect them. This trend is a part of a movement toward a new standard of city management and planning—falling under the names public involvement, public engagement, collaborative governance, civic renewal, participatory democracy, and citizen-centered change. City administrators have long focused on attaining excellence in their technical domains; they are now expected to achieve an equal standard of excellence in public involvement.
Toward this end, Citizen-Centered Cities provides a body of experience about public involvement that would take years for municipal administrators to accumulate on the job. The opening chapter summarizes nine challenges for public involvement, together with over sixty aspirational recommendations. Subsequent chapters provide detailed case studies illustrating these challenges for a range of projects—a new bridge, a light rail line, a highway interchange, neighborhood street modifications, urban streetscaping, bicycle routes, movement of freight, and a transportation master plan. The close government-academic cooperation required to carry out this project builds on an innovative partnership between the City of Edmonton and the University of Alberta called the Center for Public Involvement.