“Participation” has been a pivotal focus of urban studies since the 1960s. However, it is only over the last decade that new research aspects and critical debates on this subject have emerged across a wide range of disciplines. The changing role of planners, the rejection of traditional decision-making processes, the emergence of grassroots initiatives, the social differences that manifest in urban structures, and pressing ecological challenges—all of these are subjects that are redefining this field.
The Participatory City is the first international and interdisciplinary collection of texts encompassing the whole spectrum of the debate within a wide geographical framework. Examples from Chicago, Detroit, London, Mexico City, and Bangalore reveal quite different experiences of public participation. The current status of the debates is shown through contributions by leading experts on subjects such as social housing, land-use policies, migrant rights, environmental problems, and health issues. They provide perspectives on future participative urban development.