Participatory planning combines the knowledge of professionals and community members to create goals and plans that match the needs of citizens. Citizens are experts in the opportunities and challenges of the community, and professionals are the experts in the solutions.
The process of participatory planning requires creating opportunities for participation, ensuring citizens are aware of the opportunities, and then adopting or adapting input based on professional or technical guidelines.
By listening to and considering the views of citizens not supportive of a project, participatory planning is a powerful tool to reconcile concerns or opposition. This process consists of 6 phases, with evaluation integrated at every stage:
- Launch an action plan for participatory planning
- Understand and diagnose the existing use
- Explore design scenarios
- Decide with stakeholders on the best solutions
- Implement the design solutions
- Celebrate the accomplishments
Details, examples and strategies for every stage is included in the 2015 report from the Montreal Urban Ecology Centre.