|Title||Participatory diagnosis in urban planning: Proposal for a learning process based on geographical information|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2009|
|Authors||Joerin F., Desthieux G., Billeau-Beuze S., Nembrini A.|
|Journal||Journal of Environmental Management|
|Keywords||decision, indicators, learning process, participation, social learning, sustainable learning, Urban diagnosis|
Presents a participatory diagnostic process applied in an urban problem setting environment
Participatory approaches are now fundamental to balancing diverse views in urban planning; however participation is required through all stages of the process including problem setting. This article presents a four phase participatory diagnosis process, applied in an urban community problem setting context. The research identified problems as they were viewed by residents, and progressively synthesised and sorted these views into broader priority issues. Spatial indicators and GIS technology were used to represent these issues. The approach also compared and contrasted resident experiences with available official information. A learning environment was created in which residents were able to consolidate or modify their views, weighing competing interests. The effective gathering, combining, analysis and distribution of diverse information in a participatory setting was seen as a critical factor in allowing residents to modify their views. The result was the emergence of a collective awareness, which transcended individual opinions. Most importantly this diagnosis also led to concrete action, with participants being encouraged and taking on the necessary post-diagnosis steps.
This article emphasises a number of vital aspects for an effective adaptive learning environment: (i) the need for participatory involvement both at the earliest stages and throughout all phases of the diagnostic-decision making-action process; (ii) the value of accessible, diverse and high quality information; (iii) the potential use of learning tools (such as GIS technology); and (iv) a clearly defined path from diagnosis to action which empowers participants.