The impact of power-geometry in participatory planning on urban greening

Anqi Wang, Edwin H.W. Chan

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Public participation in land-use planning has long been considered beneficial to the urban environment by involving different stakeholders in decision-making. Through participation, the question of how to improve the provision of public Green Space in urban development has been discussed in many research studies, especially in cities undergoing densification; yet the Arnstein gaps between the desired and actual levels of citizen participation, as well as the insufficient green space provision, are problems still apparent, and thus worth deeper investigation. Focusing on power-geometry in participatory planning, this study aims to provide a better understanding of the impact of citizen participation on green-space planning from an agent-based perspective. It introduces a methodology of Pre- and Post-Participation Evaluation through dissecting the participation process, evaluating the outcome and its effects, and illustrating the power-geometry behind the decision-making. A participatory planning case of a new development in Hong Kong is then analysed using the proposed methodology. The results suggest that the Arnstein gap can seldom be filled in cases where there are divergent interests and differentiated power, whereas the prioritization of environmental goals is the key to success in greener planning. The study not only contributes a methodology to connect the participatory process to planning outcomes, but it also demonstrates the useful role played by directional power-geometry. This enhances an understanding of the pathways to improve the effectiveness of participatory planning through collaboration and consensus building.

Original languageEnglish
Article number126571
JournalUrban Forestry and Urban Greening
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2020


  • Arnstein gap
  • Citizen participation
  • Green space planning
  • Power-geometry
  • Urban sustainability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Forestry
  • Ecology
  • Soil Science


Dive into the research topics of 'The impact of power-geometry in participatory planning on urban greening'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this