Home About Browse Search

Valentine, Suzana, 2017. Meaningful participation from the participants' perspective. Second cycle, A2E. Uppsala: SLU, Dept. of Urban and Rural Development



This thesis explores what meaningful and worthwhile participation is from the participant’s perspective. The context is an urban densification project in Sweden. The findings show that participation is a purposeful activity and that participation needs to be relevant to people’s purpose for participating to be meaningful and worthwhile. An interest in or concern over an issue is to begin with a purpose to participate. This study also found that people pursue different purposes when they participate. Four different but synergetic purposes when participating where identified these where; to have a constructive dialogue, to have a constructive influence, to oversee the process and intrinsic motivations to participate. Two common threads running through several of these four where to understand the project and decisions better and that active participation is motivated by its constructive potential. Based on these insights, and the participant’s reflections, four guidelines for implementing meaningful and worthwhile participation in practice where suggested. Meaningful and worthwhile participation should be grounded in a respectful relationship; the interaction needs to receptive and responsive, the agenda and information should to be relevant. Lastly the process would be resourceful to make the most of the participants’ expertise and allow them to participate in efficient and selective ways. It was suggested that proactive transparency of the planning process including the dialogue process itself can enable people to understand the process. This in combination with a variety of constructive opportunities for more active participants would be way to create a resourceful and flexible process: People are quite selective with how they invest their efforts and this suggests a pragmatic, rather than idealistic approach towards participation. The consequences of this are discussed.

Focus groups were the main method for data collection and the analytic approach was a grounded thematic analysis.

Main title:Meaningful participation from the participants' perspective
Authors:Valentine, Suzana
Supervisor:Calderon, Camilo
Examiner:Von Essen, Erica and Hallgren, Lars
Volume/Sequential designation:UNSPECIFIED
Year of Publication:2017
Level and depth descriptor:Second cycle, A2E
Student's programme affiliation:NM026 Environmental communication and management - Master's programme
Supervising department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Urban and Rural Development
(LTJ, LTV) > Dept. of Urban and Rural Development
Keywords:public participation, citizen dialogue, urban planning
Permanent URL:
Subject. Use of subject categories until 2023-04-30.:Agriculture - General aspects
Deposited On:18 Aug 2017 08:18
Metadata Last Modified:18 Aug 2017 08:18

Repository Staff Only: item control page


Downloads per year (since September 2012)

View more statistics