- Questioning Participation: Interactions between Communities and local Institutions in the Terrassa Neighborhood Plan, Spain    click here to open paper content46 kb
by    Michelutti, Enrico | enrico.michelutti@catunesco.upc.edu   click here to send an email to the auther(s) of this paper
Short Outline
An analysis of the Terrassa Neighborhood Plan is presented. The development of the Plan underlines the conflict between communities and public institutions, indicating that the participation process should be redesigned in order to ensure social cohesion.
Terrassa is a city in Catalonia that has 200,000 inhabitants. The Neighborhood Plan is a participatory urban regeneration plan for four neighborhoods (Ca N’Anglada, Torre-sana, Montserrat and Vilardell) that have high levels of immigration and precarious urban conditions. The construction and development of the Plan brought the complexity of participation in urban planning to the fore.
This work analyzes the relationships between planners and the community in two stages of the Plan. First, it considers the “continuity/discontinuity” of the participation process in the design of the Plan (2004-2005). Second, it considers the problematic nature of community involvement in carrying out the programs and the difficulties brought to light by the actions of the municipal government (2005-2007).
The analysis starts with the design of the Plan and the need for a participatory project aimed at regenerating the neighborhood and increasing social inclusion. The involvement of the four main communities (Catalans, Spaniards, Maghrebis and Gypsies) plays a decisive role in both the strategic planning of the Plan and the planning of specific actions designed to upgrade the urban fabric. The participation mechanism also involves members of the communities in the evaluation of the Plan. The close relationship between institution and communities in all stages of the Plan revealed their conflicting attitudes towards urban planning and led to institutional conflict in the city.
The case study of Terrassa clearly shows that an answer is needed to the social and institutional fragmentation of communities and local actors. The real participation of people in all stages of urban planning represents a key to achieving sustainability in city governance.
participation, institutional design, holistic sustainability
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