The question of how to achieve the democratic goals of public participation without resorting to a process that is cumbersome, frustrating, and costly to communities and public agencies is examined. The concept of "democratic efficiency"--the ratio of citizen satisfaction with planning outcomes to public participation resources "spent" in the planning process--is proposed as an aid in the design of public participation programs that are both democratic and efficient. Simple dichotomies that describe the critical trade-offs between democracy and process efficiency are used, and strategies, interaction techniques, organizational devices, and support resources that have high potential for achieving effective participation are suggested. Substantial gains in democratic efficiency can be achieved through staff training, technical assistance for community groups, meeting preparation, and public participation in the design of the citizen-particippation process itself. Several promising interaction techniques that are not now widely used are identified for further research and development. These are citizen juries, assemblies to integrate subarea and areawide transportation planning, and other structured interaction techniques. (Author) conditions or costs associated with public safety. (Author)

Media Info

  • Media Type: Print
  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: pp 88-93
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00319392
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: Oct 27 1980 12:00AM