'I plan, you participate': A southern view of community participation in urban Australia

Kuntala Lahiri-Dutt*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Community participation, an imperative ingredient in any intervention, in spite of all the recent emphasis, it has continued to remain a form of collective bargaining. Instead of reversing its position in face of community opposition, governments are tempted to reinforce it by seeking the scientific opinion from experts. By favouring this opinion as the rational approach, the government undermines the essence of community participation. To illustrate this point, the paper traces the recent history of M5 East Motorway Tunnel Exhaust Stock located in a residential area of Sydney. I show how, between two modes of knowledge systems of two groups opposing each other, a privileging process subordinates citizens' preferences and understandings to those held by experts. Thus the process of participation becomes circumscribed by the government's implicit preferences that are imposed on the community in the name of a more 'scientific' view irrespective of citizen opinions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13-27
Number of pages15
JournalCommunity Development Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2004
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of ''I plan, you participate': A southern view of community participation in urban Australia'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this