Participatory research and planning in practice
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The vision of this book is to provide evidence on how participatory planning and participatory research can bring about positive social, environmental, or economic change in the local communities. There are some other books covering the same topic, but our aspiration is to go beyond only collecting individual experiences. Our aim is to present the experiences, knowledge, and concrete practices of participatory planning and research to further the development of these fields by respecting the following four guiding principles: • Every chapter has a clear connection with the contemporary literature on participatory research and planning debates (participatory action research, community-based research, citizen science, co-creation, etc.) with results that are usable for planning or application purposes. • Every chapter has a strong trans-territorial dimension, meaning that a clear emphasis is placed on the methods or practical implications of participatory research and planning that are overarching across specific case study sites (mostly at transnational level). • Every chapter debates the concrete impacts and benefits of conducting this type of research and planning for the academic and non-academic audiences and thus offers knowledge exchange between them. • The authors debate the possible traps of conducting a participatory research and planning and additionally indicate how these fields can be improved in future to avoid the traditional (positivist) and modern (post-structural) critique of participatory planning and research. The authors followed all of these suggestions, thus providing a scientific robustness of their contributions, yet they address practical problems and challenges well known to everyone dealing with planning and governing processes in the field. We believe that this is important, because the book incorporates real-life experiences from practitioners and researchers from various disciplines and viewing points. It contributes to the field by increasing methodological pluralism and by adding scientific vigour, which were often criticisms of participatory-based planning and research. However, at the heart of all contributions lies the respect for the needs of local communities where participatory planning and research activities are practiced.
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