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Engaging residents' groups in planning using focus groups

Engaging residents' groups in planning using focus groups
Engaging residents' groups in planning using focus groups
Involving residents in decisions on the planning and design of the built environment can deliver numerous benefits, but soliciting their productive and meaningful engagement is not easy. There are various pitfalls to navigate and issues to address. This paper reflects on several of these by drawing on the experience of conducting focus groups with a variety of residents' groups where attitudes to environmental design were discussed. The paper considers issues around the process of identifying and selecting groups to engage with, barriers to group and individual participation in engagement exercises, and the process of opinion formation and evolution in a group setting (and the implications of this for the interpretation of focus group data). Interestingly, for some residents' groups, preferences for the design and development of the built environment appeared to be rather conservative although there was scepticism of the agenda and activities of local government and property developers. The paper considers what this might mean for efforts to involve these groups in consultation and engagement activities on planning and development matters. Overall, it is hoped that this paper will form a useful resource for those embarking on consultation and engagement activities, particularly those wishing to work with residents' groups or seeking to employ focus groups
public policy, social impact, town and city planning
1478-4629
61-74
Brookfield, K.
51a7d93e-2017-42f3-9b1c-30f7cc45a5fb
Bloodworth, A.G.
08ac0375-0691-41d4-937d-d7d643dc8ddb
Mohan, J.
01d0f96b-aee7-4f4d-ad3f-e177231005f6
Brookfield, K.
51a7d93e-2017-42f3-9b1c-30f7cc45a5fb
Bloodworth, A.G.
08ac0375-0691-41d4-937d-d7d643dc8ddb
Mohan, J.
01d0f96b-aee7-4f4d-ad3f-e177231005f6

Brookfield, K., Bloodworth, A.G. and Mohan, J. (2013) Engaging residents' groups in planning using focus groups. Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers - Engineering Sustainability, 166 (2), 61-74. (doi:10.1680/ensu.12.00012).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Involving residents in decisions on the planning and design of the built environment can deliver numerous benefits, but soliciting their productive and meaningful engagement is not easy. There are various pitfalls to navigate and issues to address. This paper reflects on several of these by drawing on the experience of conducting focus groups with a variety of residents' groups where attitudes to environmental design were discussed. The paper considers issues around the process of identifying and selecting groups to engage with, barriers to group and individual participation in engagement exercises, and the process of opinion formation and evolution in a group setting (and the implications of this for the interpretation of focus group data). Interestingly, for some residents' groups, preferences for the design and development of the built environment appeared to be rather conservative although there was scepticism of the agenda and activities of local government and property developers. The paper considers what this might mean for efforts to involve these groups in consultation and engagement activities on planning and development matters. Overall, it is hoped that this paper will form a useful resource for those embarking on consultation and engagement activities, particularly those wishing to work with residents' groups or seeking to employ focus groups

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Published date: April 2013
Keywords: public policy, social impact, town and city planning
Organisations: Sociology, Social Policy & Criminology, Infrastructure Group

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 351871
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/351871
ISSN: 1478-4629
PURE UUID: 9578d478-6122-4492-84d7-113559aff9ad

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Date deposited: 29 Apr 2013 08:25
Last modified: 18 Jul 2019 15:00

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