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Citizen participation in the planning process: a case study of the city of Vancouver’s project on aging McNeil, Alison E. 1993

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CITIZEN PARTICIPATION IN THE PLANNING PROCESS:A CASE STUDY OF THE CITY OF VANCOUVER'SPROJECT ON AGINGbyALISON ESTHER MCNEILB.A., Trent University, 1984B . Ed . , Queen's University, 1988A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OFTHE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OFMASTER OF ARTSinTHE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIESTHE SCHOOL OF COMMUNITY AND REGIONAL PLANNINGWe accept this thesis as conformingto the required standardTHE UNIVERSITYI  OF BRITISH COLUMBIASeptember 1993© Alison Esther McNeil, 1993In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanceddegree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make itfreely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensivecopying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of mydepartment or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying orpublication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my writtenpermission.(Signature)Department of C_'Q) vvt_ifv\.)1/4j--1A-4-"^e--0 7 •—•"---.Cej 11:761The University of British ColumbiaVancouver, CanadaDate CDc --c.- -tJr 6, n92DE-6 (2/88)AbstractThe purpose of this study is to investigate the nature, merits and limitations of thecitizen participation model used in the process of developing a municipal plan for the impactsof population aging. The research is based on a literature review and participant observationof one case study.It is evident from the literature that citizen participation is integral to the democraticdecision making process, since it can strengthen principles central to the practice of demo-cratic government, namely, representation, public interest and accountability. Power and itsdistribution are fundamental elements in distinguishing one level of participation fromanother. They are also, therefore, key factors to consider in the design of participationprograms. Of the models investigated, partnership is identified as one that requires govern-ment and citizens to engage in shared decision makingCitizen participation in planning practice over the last twenty-five years has variedwidely in terms of the intent, design and techniques used. Among citizen participationtheorists there is some consensus on the causes of all too frequent failures in practice. Theseinclude differing expectations and objectives among the government actors and citizensinvolved, failure to match appropriate techniques with objectives, and lack of evaluation.Based on the theory, the partnership model effectively addresses these problems and hasconsiderable advantages over other models such as consultation. The research reveals that inpartnership, the objectives of both citizen and government participants guide the process, andthat resources, expertise and decision making power are shared during the planning process.Problems associated with the model include dangers of cooptation of citizens involved, andiithe tendency for the citizen participants to become an elite group unrepresentative of thelarger public.These findings are explored and amplified through an evaluation of a case ofpartnership in practice which generates mixed results in terms of its merits and limitations.This model produced conditions for a substantial degree of shared decision makingTechniques used provided direct access to resources and the planning process for citizen andgovernment participants. An open-ended project design and multiple opportunities providedfor participation in varying degrees were also successful features used in achieving partner-ship. The research also indicates that citizens engaged in partnership with government wererelatively few, and the project lacked political support necessary for changes in resourceallocation. These results are attributable to, in part, a trade off between the quality andquantity of citizen participation as sharing of decision making power increases.Conclusions of this study of a model of citizen participation suggest that in definingsocial issues and developing plans to address them, government and citizen participants needto redefine their roles and expectations of each other. In the past, common roles for citizensin the planning process have been as clients, advocates, complainants, advisors and suppli-cants. As decision makers and problem solvers engaged in partnership planning with govern-ment, their participation may be more effective. The study of the Project on Aging generatessome lessons for future practice of the partnership model. This case suggests that planningin partnership requires commitment to the partnership objective as a substantive and not asymbolic goal. This means government takes an active role in creating conditions forpartners to act on their interests.iiiTable of ContentsABSTRACT ^ iiTable of Contents  ivList of Tables  viList of Figures ^  viiACKNOWLEDGEMENT ^ viii1. INTRODUCTION 11.1 The Current Context for Citizen Participation ^  11.2 Purpose ^ 41.3 Research Methodology ^  51.4 Scope and Organization  52. THEORIES OF CITIZEN PARTICIPATION^ 72.1 Citizen Participation and Democratic Principles  72.2 Citizen Participation at the Local Government Level ^  102.3 Models of Citizen Participation in Planning ^  112.4 Contemporary Models of Citizen Participation  142.5 Conclusion ^  183. CITIZEN PARTICIPATION IN PLANNING PRACTICE^  203.1 Some Causes of Failure of Citizen Participation in Practice  203.2 The Partnership Model: Principal Assumptions ^  213.3 Definitions, Purposes and Techniques of Partnership  223.4 Advantages of the Partnership Model ^  243.5 Limitations of the Partnership Model  263.6 Conclusion ^  284. THE CITY OF VANCOUVER'S PROJECT ON AGING^  304.1 Citizen Participation and the City of Vancouver ^  304.1.1 Models of Citizen Participation ^  304.1.2 The Project on Aging in Context  324.2 Project Background: Policy Origins and Project Goals ^  334.3 Project Description ^  354.3.1 Phase I-The Steering Committee and Project Planning ^ 354.3.2 Phase I-Neighbourhood Based Teams and Workshop Planning ^ 384.3.3 Phase II-Neighbourhood Workshops ^  394.3.4 Phase III-The Working Group and Neighbourhood Groups ^ 414.3.5 Epilogue ^  46iv4.4 Conclusion ^  465. CASE STUDY FINDINGS: ANALYSIS OF THE CITIZEN PARTICIPATIONPROCESS, PARTNERSHIP IN PRACTICE ^  485.1 Introduction ^  485.1.1 Evaluation of Citizen Participation Programs ^  485.1.2 Framework for Analysis of the Partnership Model in Practice ^ 495.2 The "Partnership" Objective ^  505.3 Techniques for Partnership: Shared Decision Making in the Planning Process ^ 515.3.1 Project Definition and Planning ^  545.3.2 Issue Identification ^  555.3.3 Plan Writing and Implementation  575.4 Techniques for Partnership: The Role of Resources ^  615.4.1 Access to Financial Resources ^  615.4.2 Access to Informational Resources  635.5 Merits and Limitations of the Model in Practice ^  655.5.1 Citizen Participation Techniques  655.5.2 Multiple Objectives and Autonomy  685.6 Other Considerations ^  695.7 Conclusions ^  726. CONCLUSIONS 746.1 Citizen Participation Theory ^  746.2 The City of Vancouver's Project on Aging ^  756.3 Citizen Participation and the Partnership Model  776.4 New Directions in Citizen Participation  79BIBLIOGRAPHY ^ 81APPENDICES 87vList of TablesTable 1: Project Schedule: Summary of Main Events ^  34Table 2: Partnership Techniques: Vehicles for Staff-Resident Participation ^ 53Table 3: The Partnership Model: Merits and Limitations ^  73viList of FiguresFigure 1: Arnstein's Ladder of Citizen Participation ^  13Figure 2: Connor's New Ladder of Citizen Participation  16Figure 3: Potapchuk's Levels of Shared Decision Making ^  17Figure 4: Connor's Public Participation Matrix ^  67viiAcknowledgementI would like to thank my advisor, Michael Seelig for his support and guidancethroughout the process of formulating and writing this thesis. Many thanks as well to PennyGurstein, for her insightful comments and helpful suggestions on the project. ChristineWarren and other staff at the City of Vancouver's Social Planning Department have beenextremely generous with their time and resources and deserve special thanks.viii1. INTRODUCTION1.1 Citizen Participation in Planning: The Current ContextCitizen participation processes are conducted by local governments in recognition oftheir necessity and value as part of an effective decision making process around urban issues,and increasingly social planning issues. Since the 1960s, when citizen participation becameinstitutionalized at the local government level and therefore of concern to urban planners, theintended outcomes of the processes have varied, which reflects changing public, professionaland political attitudes. The evolution of citizen participation reveals that efforts have beenmade to involve diverse interest groups in society, such as industry, city residents andcultural minority groups, in a vast range of issues, from neighbourhood planning andtransportation planning to natural resource management (Draper, 1977:40). Too often,efforts of those dedicated or bound to seek public input in government decisions and planshave been frustrated by an inability to achieve the objectives of meaningful and usefulinvolvement.Models of citizen participation most commonly used in practice are intended to allowgovernment to consult with the public before making decisions. Much less common havebeen models for sharing decision making power among citizens and government in theplanning process. Today, there are several factors prompting many city governments torethink the traditional models and strategies for involving the public in planning. Accordingto one practitioner, the public has been "consulted to death" (Christine Warren, InterviewMarch 23, 1993) and there is a growing demand for a more satisfactory means of1involvement (Sewell and Coppock, 1977:2). Other factors including increasing publicdissatisfaction with government and less trust of the knowledge and motivation of "experts"have been identified as fuelling public desire for more participatory approaches to publicdecision making and thus an increasing unwillingness to allow decisions to be made withoutmeaningful public input (Cooley, 1992).In the City of Vancouver, as in other Canadian cities, residents, politicians and Citystaff have at times experienced frustration, distrust and skepticism in relation to citizenparticipation in planning. Recent public involvement processes conducted by the City haveproduced some lose-lose situations for City staff, developers, politicians and neighbourhoodresidents.' The possibility that citizen participation programs will cause even greater publicdiscontent in the form of skepticism and distrust, rather than the intended outcomes(Langton, 1978), may be a very real one unless the means by which citizens are involved inlocal government decision making are better understood and more confidently practised. Bystudying innovative examples of participation practice, hopefully skepticism and distrust canbe dissipated and ultimately, plans which more effectively address social needs can be made.In addition to addressing public demand, other practical concerns require planners toreassess their method for involving the public in planning initiatives. They include on-goingdemographic shifts in the population (accounting for the increasing proportion of thepopulation who are over age 45) and fiscal restraint at all government levels. Together these1 A well publicized example was the dispute that took place between these parties over the "Arbutus Lands" areain the Vancouver neighbourhood of Kitsilano. The confrontation that occurred between neighbourhood residentsand City staff in this case confirm research findings that suggest that in today's political climate strategies for citizenparticipation processes that pit one interest against another frequently backfire (Potapchuk:1991).2trends mean that cities face growing demand for social services which increasingly they willbe unable to meet alone. 2Both these trends are currently taking effect in the rapidly growing city of Vancouverand the surrounding Lower Mainland region. To address them, as well as problemsassociated with citizen participation practices, in 1991 the City of Vancouver's SocialPlanning Department launched the "Ready or Not!" Project on Aging. It was designedaround three complementary goals; firstly, to plan for the considerable impacts of populationaging, secondly and further to this, to help prepare the City administration for the attitudinal,program and structural changes required and thirdly, to deal with public involvement inplanning differently from past methods--through 'partnership'.Although the Project on Aging has three stated objectives, the piloting of a newprocess of citizen participation different from models used by the City in the past, is clearlythe objective emphasized by the project organizers and participants. This fact is evidencedby the project's mission statement:"Ready or Not!" is a process of empowering neighbourhoods -- through consultationand interaction -- to identify, plan for, and act upon vital community prioritiesrelated to the aging of the population. (Workshop Analysis, October 1992:3).Through the Project on Aging, which is currently in its final stages, the City seeks toinvolve the public in the process of planning for meeting the social needs of city residents asthey age, and in so doing, foster greater public trust and more effective and implementableplans.2 Appendix A shows the demographic shifts occurring in Vancouver's population using the period from 1971to 2016.3The project's objective to work in 'partnership' with the community gives rise to anumber of important questions. What is 'partnership' and how is it expected to be moresuccessful than past models for participation? What are the techniques used to implementthis participation model? What are its limitations? How does it respond to the currentcontext for citizen participation at the municipal government level? Answers to thesequestions are vital if citizen participation practices are to be improved.1.2 PurposeAnalyzing and evaluating the key features of an effective citizen participation processare the main goals of this study. The "partnership" model is examined in detail, both as it isconceived of in theory and as it has been put into practice.The assumption underlying the analysis is that representation is not the only measure,nor alone an adequate measure, of a successful citizen participation program. How citizensare involved the planning process is an important factor for analysis in addition to who isinvolved. Both will depend on the intent behind the participation. Thus, to understand andevaluate citizen participation in practice, requires that assumptions about the purposes ofcitizen participation be investigated. This can be accomplished by examining democraticprinciples and citizen participation models. An investigation of principles of democratictheory and a survey different models of citizen participation will help clarify the distinctionbetween levels of participation. By examining the citizen participation process used in theProject on Aging, the operation, merits and limitations of the "partnership" model will beclarified and evaluated. The case under study will be evaluated in terms of how well it4achieved the objectives and conditions for participation discussed. Conclusions will be drawnas to the broader implications of this model for future planning practice.1.3 Research MethodologyA review of the literature on models and evaluation of citizen participation inplanning is followed by a study of a practical case. The case study analyzes citizen par-ticipation process involved in the City of Vancouver's Project on Aging in order to examineand assess the way in which it achieved its goal of piloting a new, more effective means ofworking with city residents--through 'partnership'. Descriptive and qualitative analysistechniques are used to generate the lessons to be learned from the case. In conducting thestudy, a number of research methods were employed including: interviews with keyinformants, participant observation and document analysis.1.4 Scope and OrganizationTheories about citizen participation originate from a variety of disciplines andideological perspectives (Clarkson, 1980). Pertinent references may be drawn from the fieldsof political studies, sociology and public adminstration, to name only a few. Since it is theintent of this research to gain insight into effective methods for public involvement, the focusis on literature that deals specifically with how citizens may be included in the planningprocess. The emphasis then is on what some researchers have called "participatoryactivities", or the process by which citizens can shape government action (Verba andNie:1972:3).5In order to understand the importance of participatory methods to the field ofplanning, Chapter 2 begins with an overview of its purposes in terms of both philosophicaland pragmatic considerations. Next, models and concepts related to citizen participation inplanning are examined. In Chapter 3, some causes of failure of citizen participation inpractice are identified, followed by a discussion of the partnership model. The publicparticipation process used in the Project on Aging is described in Chapter 4 and researchfindings are presented in Chapter 5 3 . In Chapter 6, conclusions as to the merits andlimitations of the partnership model are presented, as well as the broader implications of thefindings for future planning practice.3 The study is limited to the citizen participation process involved in the Project on Aging's I, II, III and interimphases spanning the period from June 1990 until May 1993. By the latter date, a preliminary draft of the project'sStrategic Plan was completed.62. THEORIES OF CITIZEN PARTICIPATIONToday there is a general acceptance of the practice of citizen participation in planning atthe local government level. Still, the terms 'citizen participation', 'public involvement' andcombinations of the two such as 'public participation' do not mean the same thing to all actorsinvolved in the public decision making process (Higgins, 1977:184). 4 Citizen participation, theterm used in this thesis, can span a range of activities from voting in a federal election tovoluntary involvement at a municipal level. Thus, the definition accepted here is that toparticipate in urban planning is to "participate in politics...[which] is an attempt to exerciseinfluence on the structures, personalities, and processes of government in order to produce newdecisions, reverse previous decisions, or alter the decision making processes themselves"(Higgins, 1977:185).2.1 Citizen Participation and Democratic PrinciplesAlthough a rationale for citizen participation would appear to be self-evident in ademocratic society, some theorists have expressed the concern that planning practitioners mayoverlook its importance in the broader context; in the practice of democratic government:...the pursuit of citizen participation in urban and regional planning is too frequentlyundertaken in considerable ignorance of the political philosophy of democracy...littlethought, if any, is apparently given to...the sensitive issues of representation and thepublic interest (Fagence, 1977:9).4 These terms each have different nuances and their use is dependent on the actor, user and the situation.`Public involvement' is a term often used by planning practitioners to refer to means designed by governmentsthrough which citizens can have input into a certain set of decisions. The term 'citizen participation' has obviouspolitical connotations since it implies the process by which the citizenry relates to the government in a democraticstate.7It remains important for planners to consider how citizen participation can be used as a meanstoward the end of more equitable and effective decision making. Since assumptions made byplanners about how democratic principles can best be achieved will often determine the amountand nature of citizen participation sought in practice, investigation of three of these principleswarrant investigation. The three concepts examined are public interest, accountability, andrepresentation.Beliefs about the aims of involving the public in political life are directly linked to ideasof what constitutes the 'public' interest. This concept, has been referred to as, at best, an"elusive ideal" (Rein, 1969:233) since in society there exist a range of interests among differentgroups and individuals. Because of the plurality of interests in society, advocates of greatercitizen participation in political life argue that "what is opening of all possiblemeans by which to 'hear' the attitudes, opinions and aspirations of those for whom the planningis being done..." (Fagence, 1977:69). Clearly, from this perspective, voting in elections aloneis not adequate to ensure that governments remain representative of or accountable to all publicinterests.The concept of government accountability can be defined as "...essentially the conceptof embodies the idea that government should be responsible to the people"(Nachmias, 1978:249). When citizen participation is equated with voting, accountability ofgovernment will depend on the responsiveness of publicly elected officials (Plunkett and Betts,1978:144). Accountable governments in this sense, are composed of politicians who makedecisions to allocate resources based on the public interest with which they were entrusted bya majority. Another view of government accountability is that it is a function of the degree of8`openness' of government organizations. The belief is that citizen participation processesallowing free access to information and resources, together with responsive governmentinstitutions, are indicators of 'open' or accountable governments (Clague, 1971:37). Voting isnot seen as sufficient participation to ensure that the accountability ideal is achieved. Instead,democracy is contingent on a more active and frequent role for the public in government.Representation is a third principle important to the operation of a democratic society.The idea is that private interests should be given fair representation in the public realm so thatdecisions about public service provision are made fairly and resources distributed equitably.Whether fair representation of interests can best be accomplished through decision making bymany or a select few; by an elite or 'the masses', is a classic debate in political philosophy(Fagence: 1977:34-35). At one end of the democratic spectrum, where citizen participation isnarrowly conceived of as voting, representation becomes difficult to interpret other than literally,such as the extent to which occupations of publicly elected officials match those of theirconstituents (Plunkett and Betts, 1978:141). Further along the continuum toward moreparticipatory forms of democratic government, the belief is that more active citizen participationin the democratic process will make it more likely that the plurality of interests in society aredirectly represented and therefore responded to through government action. Put another way,the value of citizen participation is that " produces public goods more closely attuned tocitizens needs than it would if there were no participation" (Verba and Nie: 1972:11).Three inter-related principles important to the democratic practice of government arerepresentation, public interest and accountability. In theory, citizen participation in publicdecision making is meant to strengthen these principles. Discussion of the commonly used9models and typologies in citizen participation theory below will further clarify interpretationsof citizen participation in the planning context.2.2 Citizen Participation at the Local Government Level: Pragmatic ConsiderationsIn addition to achieving the goal of better government, or government that is morerepresentative of all interests and more accountable to the public, there are also practical reasonsfor citizens to participate at the local government level in planning processes. From anadministrative or government perspective, a practical advantage of involving citizens in planningis the increased likelihood that a "...plan would be more acceptable, more popular, easier to votefor by the politicians and easier to implement" (Bousfield, 1976:9). From a citizen perspective,motivations for participation may stem form a desire to have their values incorporated intogovernment decision making, getting their needs met more adequately or expressing theirsatisfaction or discontent with public bodies (Davis, 1973:62).At one extreme, citizen participation can be seen as a means of merely legitimizinggovernment action and at the other, it may be viewed as a problem solving technique. As aproblem solving technique, citizen participation may be desired as a way of helping to carry outthe work of government (Davis, 1973:64), or more specifically planning, decision making, andservice delivery (Glass, 1979:181). From this perspective, informed citizens participating in theprocess of public decision making has the practical advantage of acceptance of those decisions.Some theorists believe more citizen participation can only foster better participation: "the major10function of participation... is therefore an educative one, educative in the very widest sense... Themore individuals participate the better able they become to do so" (Pateman: 1970:27). 5It has been observed that "pressure for an expanded role for the public [in planning] isrooted in both philosophical and pragmatic considerations" (Sewell and Coppock, 1977:1).Philosophically speaking, using citizen participation as a means towards more democraticgovernment in the sense described below, requires that it is practised in a way that furthersequitable representation of public interests in public decision making. If we accept that in ademocratic society the political process is the means through which society makes choices aboutthe allocation of limited resources, then the questions of who makes the decisions and how theyare made so that both public and private interests are fairly defined, served and reconciled arecrucial to answer. Who has a role and how are they involved? These questions are ones thattheories of citizen participation in the democratic process generally, and in planning particularly,seek to address.2.3 Models of Citizen ParticipationOver the last few decades several models and typologies of citizen participation inplanning have been developed in an effort to better grasp the potential and pitfalls of involvingthe public in government. A "model" of citizen participation can be defined as "...acomprehensive statement describing the objectives, methods and requirements of a [citizenparticipation] program and the results that can be expected from it in a given situation" (Connor,5 Thinking of citizen participation as beneficial both as a learning process as well as a decision making process,is a central theme found in the writings of an entire school of social theorists (see for example:Baker, 1991; Droverand Hulchanski, 1991; Bregha, 1991 and; Kidd, 1991; in Draper, J. ed. 1991).111977:58). Several typologies of citizen participation models found in the literature demonstratethe variation in perceived limits and potentials for public involvement in planning.A typology of eight levels of participation ranked according to the degree of power eachtechnique or model delegates to citizens, Arnstein's (1969) "Ladder of Citizen Participation"continues to be at the forefront of citizen participation analysis, (see Figure 1). For her, thepower (or "decision making clout") is a key factor in the design of citizen participationprograms, since those without it cannot influence the outcome of a decision making process(Arnstein: 1969:216-217).By describing different degrees or levels of participation, her classification makes clearthat citizen involvement takes a variety of forms in practice, not all of which constitute actualparticipation. Hence, 'manipulation' and 'informing' are considered techniques of non-participation whereas those of 'partnership' and 'citizen control' are techniques that maximizethe efficacy of citizens' participation (Arnstein, 1969:217). The assumption underlyingAmstein's ladder is clear; methods of citizen participation may be evaluated on the extent towhich they redistribute power among groups in society. For her, these groups are the "powerholders", or those that can readily get their needs met through the current structure ofdemocratic government, while the "have nots" are citizens without influence over governmentdecision making The intended result of a shift of power from the power-holders to thepowerless is 'social change', since according to this view, only a fundamental change insociety's political structures can provide long term solutions to seemingly intractable socialproblems, such as urban poverty. It has been noted that portrayal of the power distributionbetween actors in the decision making process is presented as a zero-sum game; "ascent on12Figure 1: Arnstein's Ladder of Citizen ParticipationI Citizen control8Delegated powerDegreesofcitizen power76PartnershipPlacationConsultationDegreesoftokenism4Informing3TherapyNonparticipationManipulation21■■■ISource: Arnstein (1969:217).13Arnstein's ladder ultimately means a loss of control for the public official" (Kasperson andBrietbart, 1974:6).Hence, a change in the power structure of society is seen by some as the ultimatemeasure of success to be used to assess methods of citizen participation in planning. This ideais conveyed by the statement "citizen participation is concerned with social change and must beevaluated in terms of its accomplishments in this area... [and it] must be evaluated in terms ofits ability to recapture the spirit of participatory democracy... "(Head, 1971:29). In spite of thewealth of literature written on public participation since Arnstein's time, a valuable lesson fromher writing remains relevant. Simply put, it is that the participation technique used is nevervalue neutral; a choice of techniques is inherently political--in that it affects power balances andstructures in society. Moreover, the design, intent and practice of a model, will determine theamount of power citizens and government will have to act on their interests.Since Arnstein's ladder, the body of knowledge about and experience with citizenparticipation has grown. In much of the current literature, the answers to the questions of 'whoshould participate?'; 'how much participation is possible and desirable?' and on 'what issues andat what stages in decision making is public participation desirable?' (Sewell and Coppock,1977:7-9) are believed to be situationally specific. In other words, from this perspective, eachtype and degree of participation on Arnstein's ladder, from the level of non-participation tocitizen control, is valid.2.4 Contemporary Models of Citizen ParticipationA perceived change in the context for citizen participation, (and what for some is thesomewhat dated context and limited scope of Arnstein's model) has given rise to an number of14new classifications of citizen participation models. A number of theorists (Kasperson andBreitbart, 1974; Cooley, 1992; Potapchuk, 1991) share the belief that Arnstein's schema is notadequately flexible to acknowledge realities of the last twenty-five years of citizen participationin practice. As a response, one practitioner has constructed a new ladder of citizen participation(Connor, 1988; see Figure 2). The levels on Connor's ladder: education, information feedback,consultation, joint planning, mediation, litigation and resolution/prevention are seen not asmutually exclusive concepts, but as building blocks toward achieving the desired end of theresolution of "public controversy" (Connor, 1988:250). For example, consultation, while it isnot adequate by itself, does allow those making the decision to "...accept or reject the viewsexpressed by the public, but at least now they are clearly identified and can be addressed inmore relevant ways than before consultation occurred" (Connor, 1988:253).More recently, it has been suggested that both the ladders described above are inadequatefor identifying the range of citizen participation models since "...neither ladder stretches to thenew broad-based forms of participation that have emerged..." (Potapchuk, 1991:161).Potapchuk's typology spans five levels of shared decision making based on the level of authoritygranted or recognized by government (Potapchuk, 1991:165, see Figure 3). The levels rangefrom processes of decision making whereby at one extreme, government alone makes a decision,and the other extreme, government delegates its decision making power to another body. Whileall levels may have their uses and be appropriate in different situations, according to Potapchuk,15Figure 2: Connor's New Ladder of Citizen ParticipationSource: Connor (1988:252).16Figure 3: Potapchuk's Levels of Shared Decision MakingGovernment DecidesGovernment Consults withIndividuals and DecidesGovernment Consults With ARepresentative Group and DecidesGovernment Works with ARepresentative Group AndThey Jointly DecideGovernment Delegates DecisionTo OthersSource: Potapchuk (1991:163).levels of citizen participation that allow decisions to be made jointly by government and citizensare more likely to attain the desired goal of "building consent" and resolution of conflict.Conversely, they are less likely exacerbate government-citizen power struggles which in his viewhave plagued recent practice of public participation (Potapchuk, 1991:158).Potapchuk's typology reflects a move away from models that imply an inherent strugglefor power in the political arena, toward models that incorporate a means of power balance. Oneof his "new broad-based forms" of participation is through "collaborative" decision makingprocesses which truly democratize decision making since they allow citizens, government andother actors "...who bring differing criteria to the table to develop joint criteria for evaluatingoptions" (Potapchuk, 1991:159). By participating in the process in this way, it is believed thatdecisions can be affected by a realistic mix of values, political and technological considerationsheld by a variety of interests in society, such as citizens, public interests, business and singleissue groups (Potapchuk, 1991:160-161).2.5 ConclusionThe factor of who has power in the planning process is one that has been at the coreof many theories of citizen participation in planning and is also at the root of dissatisfaction withparticipation practice. Criticism has been levelled at practitioners with respect to theirunwillingness or inability to deal directly with the power issue:There has been a tendency for citizen participation and community action to beconsidered neutral activities. In fact, they are political acts. In one sense, programs ofcitizen participation have been characterized by political naivety." (Draper, 1977:37).18In this chapter, views on the reasons for and means of including citizens in the processof democratic decision making have been explored. The underlying belief expressed by somecontemporary citizen participation theorists and practitioners is that it is in the interests of thosewith decision making power to share it. The alternative is to face resistance to the outcomes ofthe decision making process and lack of support for plan implementation. In the followingsection, perspectives on the partnership model for citizen participation are examined in an effortto understand how it may provide a practical solution to the conflicts caused by an imbalanceof power in the plan making process.193. CITIZEN PARTICIPATION IN PLANNING PRACTICERecently, as some causes of failure of citizen participation have become betterunderstood, the partnership model for involving citizens in planning has received more attentionin planning practice. It is necessary to examine the literature on partnership in order to assessits efficacy in practice.3.1 Some Causes of Failure of Citizen Participation in PracticeWhat are some causes of failure in citizen participation practice? An overview of theliterature suggests that three main causes can be identified:1. Scholars studying participation practice almost unanimously agree thatthe main cause has to do with expectations and objectives. Opinions range from the ideathat the expectations of actors in the citizen participation process were too high(Cullingsworth, 1984:11) to the idea that expectations were left undefined amongst theactors (Potapchuk, 1991:164). Clearly goals for participation that are not articulatedeither will not be achieved, or will not be achieved to the full satisfaction of the actorsinvolved who hold them. Directly related to the latter point is the lesson for practitionersthat the intent of the participation process must be mutually understood by theparticipants involved.2. Once the intent or objectives of the program are made clear, a numberof practitioners note the importance of matching the techniques with the objectives forthe program (Glass, 1979:180; Connor, 1977:61). Since techniques and activities usedin the planning process will determine the success of goal achievement, the job of the20practitioner and evaluator becomes matching objectives (such as information exchange,education, supplemental decision making, and representational input) with the mostappropriate techniques (Glass, 1979:180). According to this view, failure tosystematically employ the correct technique for achieving a stated objective is a majorcause of failure.3. Together with deficiencies in the way citizens are involved and how theirinput is used, lack of evaluation of participation programs is cited as another factorcontributing to failure of participation in practice (Sadler, 1977:5-6).Problems experienced with citizen participation in practice have prompted the search fornew models that allow governments, together with citizens, to more effectively address theseconcerns involving expectations, objectives, techniques and evaluation. Partnership is one ofthese models.3.2 The Partnership Model: Principal AssumptionsThe partnership model is founded on certain assumptions about why the public needparticipate in government planning processes that differ from other models. Firstly, partnershipis predicated on the assumption that both partners need equal access to information and otherresources in order to make informed choices. This premise is conveyed by the statement that"...for citizens to understand policy issues they must be included in the planning process"(Clarkson, 1980:45). Another assumption of the partnership model for participation is that thesharing of power between governments and citizens as partners leads to a mutual responsibility21for the outcomes. The belief expressed here is that "...when citizens are given the right toparticipate in decision making, then they must assume responsibility for action taken toimplement these plans" (Head, 1971:28). While for some the partnership model promises much,the question of its outcomes in practice arises.3.3 Definitions, Purposes, and Techniques of PartnershipThe term 'partnership' has been used in a great variety of contexts in relation to publicand private sector initiatives with varying degrees of precision.' What is the nature and purposeof the action undertaken by citizens and government in partnership?There are at least three areas with which joint action partnerships have been practised:labour relations, environmental conservation and service management and production (Parenteau,1988:65). Associated with the latter area, and of particular relevance to the case under study,is the practice of "co-production" of services by citizens and government (Gittell, 1980; Kotler,1982; Parenteau, 1988; Susskind and Elliott, 1983). Co-production of services can take theform of "community service partnerships" through which neighbourhood organizations have beeninvolved in the planning and delivery of community based public services (Kotler, 1982:45).In terms of objectives, sharing of responsibility for planning and delivery of government services6 There is a substantial body of literature on the subject of the relations between public agencies and communityorganizations, such as formalized structures for neighbourhood representation common to the U.S. experience,(Hallman, 1973; Hain, 1980; and Haeberle, 1989). Although a detailed examination of neighbourhood governanceis beyond the scope of this discussion, some of the research on this subject shows similar concerns to those raisedin the discussion of the merits and limitations of the partnership model.22has obvious appeal for both government (such as reduced costs, Bregha, [1991]) and citizens(such as higher degrees of government responsiveness and sense of empowerment).In relation to citizen participation in planning, 'partnership' appears in the top half ofArnstein's ladder, meaning that it involves a high degree of citizen power over the planningprocess, as opposed to the categories of 'tokenism' or 'non-participation' (Arnstein, 1969:217).Her idea is that when citizens enter into partnership with government, power is redistributedbetween them -- instead of being planned for, citizens plan with government.' In contrast,consultation, is a model of participation used to invite public opinion and involves only tokenpower sharing, although it can be used as a step toward citizen power if used in combinationwith partnership (Arnstein, 1969:219).Many other practitioners have used the term 'partnership' to describe a model ofparticipation that allows 'collaboration' between government and citizens (Cooley, 1992:5),`shared decision making' (Potapchuk:1991:163), or similarly, joint-planning' (Connor,1989:254). One theorist cites the need for "collaborative planning" and "decision-informingpartnership" in the belief that only it can create a process that gives rise to "genuine interchangebetween citizens and planners" (Fagence, 1977:4). In practice, techniques or mechanisms forinvolving citizens in partnership with government for planning purposes have includedcommunity-based working groups, task forces (Potapchuk, 1991) planning advisory committees(Bousfield, 1977; Cullingsworth, 1984; Higgins, 1977) and citizen panels (Crosby, Kelly andSchaefer, 1986).She notes that in her experience, where power sharing of this nature was practised, it occurred because powerwas taken by citizens, not given by governments (Arnstein, 1969:222).23While these perspectives on partnership discussed above refer to partnership of citizenswith government in planning and decision making in general, a similar concept is discussed byanother researcher with an emphasis on action:Participation may be called joint action when citizens and official governmentrepresentatives jointly elaborate and implement public policy. This is entirely differentfrom government action, whether subject to consultation or not, and from collectiveaction by citizens, initiated by them, under their control, and aimed at their objectives.(Parenteau, 1988:63)According to this view, citizen participation in planning with government provides anopportunity for them to bring their respective objectives and interests to the planning process.Moreover, joint planning through partnership is seen as particularly effective for theimplementation or 'action' phase in the planning process. This is particularly important totheorists who believe that the prerequisite for substantive citizen involvement is for theparticipants be motivated to act (Fagence, 1977:7).3.4 Advantages of the Partnership ModelSome of the advantages of the partnership model for citizen participation in the planningprocess have already been delineated. The amount of power citizens and government will haveto represent and act on their interests depends on the model used for citizen participation in theplanning process. Thus, on a theoretical level, if one believes that a genuine level ofparticipation requires power redistribution (e.g., Arnstein, 1969), then the partnership modelwould appear to support this goal through collaborative decision making, joint planning and jointaction such as co-production of social and other public services.24Another advantage to the partnership model in practice has to do with the ability for morethan one set of objectives to be considered in the planning process. Because the partnershipmodel is predicated on the understanding that citizens and government may have differentobjectives for the planning process (Burton, 1979:19;Folkes, 1989:6), it entails shared decisionmaking throughout the planning process; from the agenda setting stage to plan implementation.Thus, this model effectively deals with the fact that there is an administrative perspective anda citizen perspective on the goals for citizen participation in planning programs, (Davis,1973:64-65; Cole, 1974:7).However, to further complicate matters, neither administrators nor citizens, as groupsof actors in the planning process, can be characterized as homogeneous groups (Burton,1979:19; Arnstein, 1969:217; Davis, 1973:60). In the words of one researcher "not only canthere be more than one objective in undertaking participation; there can also be differentobjectives sought by different actors or groups involved" (Burton, 1979:19). In this sense, theterm "citizens" is a category which may include a myriad of private individuals or groups; and"government" may include politicians, planners or other staff members depending on the levelof government. Since neither of the participant groups involved in the planning processconstitute a homogeneous group, consideration of as wide a spectrum of interests in the planningprocess as possible is even more essential.On a more practical level, some advantages of this model have been suggested by a studyof advisory committees and task forces (Bousfield, 1977:27). They include use by planning staffof resources and expertise of community members, substantive contribution of some members25of the public to the planning process and good communication, information flow andcoordination between government and citizens.3.5 Limitations of the Partnership ModelThe practice of citizen-government partnership has given rise to discussion of somebarriers to its effective implementation. These problems with 'partnership' in practice relate tofirstly, the tension between citizen autonomy and cooptation and secondly, the tension betweenthe need for informed decision making and adequate representation.Forms of partnership, such as joint action, are engaged in by parties who have unequal,disproportionate resources (Parenteau, 1988:63). In order for partnership to work, it isjustifiably argued, citizen groups must be able to remain true to their objectives, withoutcompromising their autonomy. The latter effort has often been a struggle for communityorganizations (Cooper, 1980), since the resources to which government and citizens groups donot have equal access are money and information. The concern is whether it is possible forcitizens engaged in partnership with government to remain independent. The question becomesto what extent does cooperation necessarily become cooptation? (Burton, 1979:19).One researcher reports that studies of community organizations have found thatcommunity-government joint ventures tend to "...transform the community partner and sever itfrom its citizen base" (Cooper, 1980:438). In this sense, in some instances cooptation ofcommunity groups has been all too common.26Similarly, in a study of planning advisory committees and task forces, it was noted several instances, the committees became non-professional planning staff for allpractical purposes. This did not result in an increase in the numbers of opportunitiesafforded for the participation by the general public. In fact, the committees werefrequently less receptive than the professional planing staff to input from the generalpublic (Bousfield, 1977:28).The problem of cooptation has much to do with the complexity of modern urban issueswhich governments must make resource allocation decisions (Ventriss, 1987:281). The beliefis that if information required to make decisions is increasing in amount and complexity, thenthere is a heightened possibility for citizens to be coopted by "experts", such as governmentanalysts or bureaucrats. 8 The pertinent question here with respect to citizen participation inpublic decision making becomes "...what is the role, what can be the role, of the uninformedcitizen?" (Davis, 1973:69) 9 and is one that will be explored in the case analysis.The chronic discrepancy between government and citizens with respect to resources theyare able to use in the planning process implies that a solution would involve making monetaryresources available for citizen groups, and increasing mutual education and information sharingamong participants. This idea is echoed by the following comment made in reference to co-production of services; "... [it] necessitates a social knowledge transfer...between the citizens andthe administration whereby both parties gain important information about the serious problems8 This issue is explored from a slightly different angle by Desario and Langton (1987) in their discussion ofthe nature of modem technocratic institutions and contributions citizens may make given the complex context inwhich policy making takes place. Two other researchers who have carried out extensive analysis of citizenparticipation in bureaucratic institutions are Kweit and Kweit (1981).9 One practitioner's answer to this question is that there is an inverse relationship between the proportion of thepublic that can be involved and the amount of information that be accessed, (see Connor's [1985] "PublicParticipation Matrix", discussed in Chapter 5, Figure 4).27affecting the community" (Ventriss, 1985:435). 1° Similarly, to combat the propensity forcommunity group cooptation and impotence (because of lack of informational and monetaryresources) Cooper suggests a number of changes needed on the part of government. Firstly, hebelieves governments need to make a commitment to preserve and support the integrity ofcommunity groups and secondly, one of their responsibilities and roles should be education ofthe community (Cooper, 1980:440). These proposed conditions for effective partnership practicewill be discussed further in the analysis of the City of Vancouver's Project on Aging.In cases where partnership is implemented by involving of "elites" or a small group ofcitizens (Potapchuk, 1991:166) rather than public at large, problems related to representativenessare raised. A study of advisory committees and task forces reveals that "...because of theirexposure to more information and different planning perspectives than the average resident,committee members can come to judge issues in a very different light than the 'uninformed'public" (Bousfield, 1977:28). This comment suggests that in order to successfully carry out thegoals associated with the partnership model in practice, a number of techniques which serve toinvolve the public on different scales during the course of the planning process should be used.3.6 ConclusionIn the case under study, the objective of the citizen participation process is partnership.In this chapter conceptions of the partnership model found in the literature have been examinedand some of its advantages and limitations considered. Chapter 5 provides an analysis of the'° Social learning theorists espouse the benefits of citizen participation with regards to mutual education andlearning precipitated amongst government and citizen participants (see Draper et al. 1991. Dignity and Growth:Citizen Participation in Social Change.)28design of the citizen participation program used to achieve partnership, and the success withwhich it deals with the issues raised here. To undertake the analysis, a description of the citizenparticipation process involved in the Project on Aging is required.294. THE CITY OF VANCOUVER'S PROJECT ON AGINGThe purpose of this chapter is to describe the "Ready or Not!" Project on Aging recentlyundertaken by the City of Vancouver's Social Planning Department. A detailed account of itspolicy origins and the ways in which citizens were involved in the project's three phases willbe given in order to provide the necessary background for the analysis which follows. Thediscussion begins with a brief overview of the City of Vancouver's experience with citizenparticipation, in order to place the project, as an exercise in citizen participation in planning, incontext.4.1 Citizen Participation and the City of Vancouver4.1.1 Models of Citizen ParticipationWith the rise of citizen activism beginning in the late 1960s, the City of Vancouver likemost local governments in Canada has endorsed policies to encourage citizen participation inplanning In 1973, the Municipal Council of the City of Vancouver first directed the planningdepartment to develop effective means of including public involvement in planning processes(Report to Council, Standing Committee on Neighbourhood Issues and Services, April 6,1989:2). Since then, citizens have been involved in planning mainly in relation to three areas:specific development projects, area studies, and "Local Area Planning", the City's version ofneighbourhood-based planning According to City reports, for each of these areas of planning,a different model of citizen participation has been used. Thus, an "education model" has beenused for public involvement in specific projects, for area studies citizens have been involvedmainly through "consultation" mainly at public meetings or hearings (Manager's Report, March3028, 1989:1). For LAP processes a "partnership model" for citizen participation has been used.It is evident from planning department reports that the idea of a "partnership" is nothingnew to the City of Vancouver. It was developed as an extension of the consultation model.Consultation is defined as a public involvement method by which to "share information, developalternatives, identify impacts and create awareness" and it "relies on a series of public meetings,workshops or a task force" (Report of the Acting Director of Planning, March 28, 1989:1). Thepartnership model is described as having the same objectives as the consultation model, exceptthat the planning process is jointly managed by the City and citizens. In addition to relying onthe consultation input mechanisms, partnership has entailed formation of 'citizen planningcommittees' for LAP exercises.Since 1973, adjustments to the models used for citizen participation have been made bythe City, most recently in 1989. The call for improvements to the models at this time can belinked to the City's desire to avoid City-citizen conflict which has been inflamed by rapid growthoccurring in the Vancouver region, (such as the Arbutus Lands case mentioned in theintroduction) and in recognition of the fact that few of the processes conducted in past haveinspired high levels of public satisfaction or trust. Thus in a October, 1, 1991 Policy Reportto City Council it is suggested that the Project on Aging is needed to bring about "...increasedpotential for positive, supportable change through inter-departmental collaboration andpartnership with the community " In addition, the project is described as resulting not only ina strategic plan on aging, but also as producing "...concrete community actions and will assistin re-defining the City's relationship with the community in the most positive sense". [emphasisadded], (Policy Report to the City Council, October 1, 1991:8). Thus, while the idea of31"partnership" is not new to the City, it is evident that their experience to date with citizenparticipation has caused them to re-think their practice of this model. In the City's view, interms of achieving social goals and 'partnership' with the community, their problem has to dowith "...the difficulty with translating philosophy and intent into practice" (Social PlanningDepartment, February 14, 1991:3). The Project on Aging is a program designed to pilot a newmodel of partnership between local government and citizens in the community.4.1.2 The Project on Aging in ContextThe Project on Aging represents both a departure and continuation of past planningpractices for the City of Vancouver. It is concerned with social policy issues and neighbourhoodplanning issues, both of which were reportedly the focus of the Local Area Planning (LAP)program (City of Vancouver Planning Department, January 1978:6). Partnership is named asthe intended model for citizen participation in both cases.However, in other ways the Project on Aging can be seen as a departure from pastplanning practices for the City of Vancouver, which is not surprising given the changing contextfor planning in the city. Demographic aging is the subject of the planning effort, and it is aconcept that has required considerable explanation to participants throughout the project.Whereas the LAP program was applied to individual neighbourhoods experiencing pressingproblems and used a partnership model to involve that community, the Project on Aging is anattempt to have people participate using the same model but on a city-wide basis, and in relationto a policy issue. Some of the factors motivating the City to launch this particular project at thisparticular time have been suggested above. Exploration of the project's policy origins and goals32will provide a better understanding of the project, and thus what type of planning exercisecitizens were asked to participate in.4.2 Project Background: Policy Origins and Project GoalsIn June 1990, Vancouver City Council identified "Social Development" and "impacts ofpopulation aging" as two of its most urgent corporate priorities. It gave the Social PlanningDepartment a mandate to develop social policy that would identify and address Vancouver'ssocial issues and goals. Accordingly, the Social Planning Department developed the "PilotProject on Aging" as part of a "Social Action Strategy", and Phase I and II of the initiative wereapproved by Council in October of 1991. The objective of the City's Social Action Strategy,approved by the Municipal Council on March 7, 1991 is "to employ City resources in the mostefficient, effective and timely way possible to address social goals and issues" and the processto be used is described as " of cooperation and collaboration among departments inpartnership with the community..." (Social Planning Department, Report, February 14, 1991:4-5).The Project on Aging thus can be seen as originating in a social policy initiative of thecity government. It was developed as a pilot in terms of both its content and method, and isdesigned around three complementary goals. The goals are firstly, to plan for the anticipatedsubstantial impacts of population aging on municipal services, secondly and further to this, tohelp prepare the City's administration for program and structural changes required to meetchanging needs (or "improving internal collaboration") and thirdly, to deal with publicinvolvement in planning differently from past methods--through 'partnership' (Policy Report,33Social Development, Aging, July 1, 1992:2). According to the project organizers, partnershipof the City and citizens is described as the process to be used throughout the project's threephases, and as one of its products ("Ready or Not!" Vancouver's Project on Aging; ProjectSummary).These then are the policy origins of the Project and its three main goals. The descriptionof the project's phases that follows will aid the analysis of it as a case of partnership in practice.The project will be examined in terms of its three phases. The major events in the process areshown in Table 1.Table 1: PROJECT SCHEDULESummary of Main Events *PROJECT PHASE DATES EVENTPhase I October 1991 Council receives report onthe Pilot Project on AgingOctober '91 - March '92 Preparation for theNeighbourhood WorkshopsPhase II April 1992 Hold NeighbourhoodWorkshopsMay '92 - June '92 Compile Information forWorking GroupJuly 1992 Report to CouncilPhase III Sept. '92 - May '93 Working Group SessionsMay '93 - October '93 Report Compiled andReviewedJanuary 1994 Final Report to Council* Adapted from a 1991 report to Council.344.3 Project Description4.3.1 Phase I - The Steering Committee and Project PlanningThe Project on Aging was not actually approved by the Vancouver Municipal Counciluntil October 1991. However, citizen participation in the project began in Phase I when it wasin the policy formulation and planning stages. The beginnings of the first phase can be tracedback to June 1990 when the Social Planning Department received instructions from the CityCouncil to take action on "social development" as one of its corporate priorities. In October1991, the City Council gave approval to the project's work-plan, timetable and budget and PhaseI continued until March, 1992, when the planning for the Phase II Neighbourhood workshopswas completed.Members of the community were involved in Phase I of the Project at a number ofdifferent times mostly through attending single meetings, as participants on a committee, and onNeighbourhood Workshop Planning Teams. Thus, selected groups and individuals were invitedto attend a number of early meetings used to conceptualize issues and design the project. Thesetasks were also the job of the project's Steering Committee, on which some community-basedindividuals were chosen to sit and thereby participate on an on-going basis in the project. Forthe purposes of analysis, details of these meetings and the formation of the Steering Groupwarrant further description.In the fall of 1990, the City's Social Planners involved in the project held a series ofmeetings with members of community-based social service organizations. Their purpose wasto discuss development of a viable project that could be used to implement the goals of their"Social Action Strategy". One of the goals involved anticipating the impacts of population35aging. Those invited to meet to discuss ideas for a project included staff at neighbourhoodhouses, women's and special needs groups, and other groups who were part of Social Planning'snetwork of community-based contacts at the time. As a result of these meetings, ideas for howto involve citizens at a larger scale in the project were generated, and a commitment to on-goingparticipation in the project was obtained from some of the participants. Also in the fall of 1990,an interdepartmental committee was established so that members of different City departmentscould contribute their knowledge as to how population aging would likely impact theirdepartment's functions with respect to service provision.Following these initial meetings with community-based and City-based groups forplanning the project, in January 1991 the project coordinators amalgamated these two groups ofparticipants to form the Steering Committee.' The Steering Committee was comprised ofseven people from the community (some of whom were "recruited" from the City's Committeesof Council and by other ad hoc methods) and thirteen City staff from the different citydepartments. Its purpose was to continue to work with the Social Planners to design the project,and it met regularly over the next year.By February 1991, a description of the goals, phases and resources required for the "PilotProject on Aging" had been written by the Social Planners and members of the SteeringCommittee using the ideas of the participants gathered up until that time. In anticipation of theproject's approval by the Council in March, a meeting of City staff and community memberswas held in February 1991 with the purpose of securing support for the project and volunteers11 According to project coordinators, this step to bring the community-based group and the City'sinterdepartmental committees together was done more out of practical convenience than observance of a participationprinciple.36to take part in implementing it. The invitations for this meeting were sent to City staff in aletter which asked them to invite one community member to attend ("either a senior or someoneinterested in the issues of aging"), hence asking them to make use of their "network in thecommunity".From 90 invitations sent, 120 people attended the meeting the purpose of which was to"...give everyone a clear idea of the Pilot Project and to identify the possible roles people canplay in its planning and implementation." (Letter to City Staff members, February 1, 1991).People were grouped by their neighbourhood of residence (there are 22 neighbourhoods inVancouver as defined by the City's administrative boundaries) and were asked to work togetherin small groups to generate ideas for how the project's topic could be addressed in theirneighbourhood and how it could proceed.According to the project's organizers, notwithstanding the enthusiasm and support for theproject generated by City staff and city residents attending this meeting, the project was notapproved by the Municipal Council when it was submitted in February, 1991. The officialreason given was that Council desired terms of reference for the project before approving it.According to project organizers, unofficially, members of Council wanted the project to placeless emphasis on seniors and greater acknowledgement of Council's potential role as finaldecision makers. Hence, after establishing that those involved thus far were interested inpursuing the matter, the Steering Committee together with the planners reviewed, edited andrevised several drafts of the Project plan over the next six months. Over this period, the projectunderwent some redefinition and refinement and finally received the Council's approval inOctober, 1991 with the stipulation that any recommendations emerging from the project would37not involve any 'new' money.4.3.2. Phase I - Neighbourhood Based Teams & Workshop PlanningThe last part of Phase I, from November 1991 until March 1992, focused on planningfor the April 1992 Neighbourhood Workshops.Further to this end, citizens were invited to attend another community meeting inNovember, 1991 which had similar objectives to the earlier February, 1991 meeting; to helpdesign the workshops, and for the City to gain support for and create awareness in thecommunity about the project. At the meeting, "Ready or Not!" was announced as the winningsubmission in a public contest held to name the project. Media coverage at the time promotedthe Project on Aging and relayed the City's message inviting "community leaders, ethnic leadersand everyone interested" to attend the meeting (The Province Newspaper, Friday November 8,1991). About 150 people attended the meeting, and 104 volunteered to help further with theproject; many by becoming part of a "Neighbourhood Workshop Planning Team" in their area.About 50 percent of the Neighbourhood Workshop Planning Team's members wereresident volunteers, the other half included Parks Department staff (working in local areacommunity centres) and Health Department staff (working in the City's local area health units).In neighbourhoods where teams had not been formed, the Social Planners, often with the helpof community centre staff, mobilized people to help with the workshop in that area.Social Planners met regularly with the team coordinators over the three month periodbefore the Neighbourhood Workshops, supplying informational materials, coordinating efforts,advertising the event, and providing the agenda for the workshops which the teams had the38option to modify. The teams were responsible for all planning to do with the workshop in theirarea, including setting the time, place, arranging for food, childcare and finally recruiting peopleto act as facilitators and recorders at the workshops. During this period, the Steering Committeecontinued to meet every two weeks to oversee the project's planning.Finally, just prior to the April 1992 Workshops, citizens who had volunteered to facilitateand record proceedings where invited to attend one of two training sessions. The three and ahalf hour session was provided by consultants hired by the City to teach facilitating skills andprovide resource information on the workshop format. Altogether, over 250 residents and Citystaff were involved in planning, running and training for the workshops.4.3.3 Phase II - Neighbourhood WorkshopsPhase II of the Project on Aging began in April 1992 and extended through what theproject organizers call an "interim phase", ending in August, 1992. The focus of this phase wasthe Neighbourhood Workshops, at which the public at large were invited to participate in theproject.Most of the twenty-four workshops took place simultaneously on April 11, 1992, in everyVancouver neighbourhood. Of the over 1,200 people who participated, 102 were City Staff, 4were City Council members and the rest were members of the general public. In addition toneighbourhood-based workshops, four of the workshops were not based on neighbourhoodresidency but instead had a city-wide focus. They were organized by people for their ownlanguage or ethnic group, such as in the American Sign Language Community, ChineseCommunity and Sunset (Punjabi) Community. A Jewish Community workshop was held on39April 29, 1992 since the April 11 neighbourhood workshops fell on the Jewish sabbath.The workshops are described as " of the prime vehicles for working towardsachieving the project goals" (Workshop Analysis, City of Vancouver, October 1992:3). Theworkshop chairpeople were asked to introduce the meetings with an explanation of the project,emphasizing in particular that "'READY OR NOT!' is all about partnership--working togetherto made decisions that will shape our future" (Guidelines for Chairpeople, Social PlanningDepartment, 1992:1).At the workshops, members of the public worked in small groups of eight to twelvepeople with a trained facilitator for about three and a half hours. Participants at each of thetwenty-four workshops had a common agenda and guidelines developed earlier by the SteeringCommittee. These were to first discuss a range of issues related to the impact of aging and asa group, decide on one or two priority issues for in-depth discussion. Secondly, in relation tothe issues identified, they were asked to discuss ways in which their neighbourhood already metneeds of people as they age from generation to generation and finally, what actions could betaken to address anticipated needs of neighbourhood residents. Participants were asked toconcentrate on what actions neighbourhood residents could take immediately to meet identifiedneeds, either by themselves, with other neighbourhoods or with the City government.At the end of the meeting, all small groups were asked to report back their conclusionsto the entire group. They were informed that the ideas generated at all the meetings were to bepublished together verbatim used as content for the Strategic Plan for Aging that was to beprepared for the City in the third phase of the project. Seventy-five percent of the workshopsparticipants chose to fill out a registration card indicating that they were willing to participate40in the project's subsequent phases either in their neighbourhood or on a city-wide basis.After the Neighbourhood Workshops, citizen participation in the project continued in anumber of ways. Nine of the groups continued to meet individually on their own initiative, todiscuss implementing some of the actions they identified at the workshops. The SteeringCommittee met a few times in May and June, 1992, to help evaluate the workshops and finalizeplans for Phase III. Three inter-neighbourhood meetings took place inviting people from allVancouver neighbourhoods and at the second of these a mission statement for the communityparticipation aspect of the project: "'Ready or Not!' is a process of empowering neighbourhoods--through consultation and interaction-- to identify, plan for and act upon vital communitypriorities related to the aging of the population" (Policy Report, "Social Development, Aging",July 1, 1992:4).Beginning in May 1992, all participants in the project thus far received a bi-monthly"Ready or Not!" newsletter produced by the Social Planning Department, informing them of theproject's on-going progress. Also during this period, a report was prepared by the SocialPlanners for City Council. It informed Council of the preliminary findings from the April 1992Public Workshops (a final Workshop analysis was published and made available to participantsin October, 1992), and recommended continuing with Phase III of the project, which includedplans for a Working Group and implementation of a "Vancouver Community Building Fund".The recommendations were approved by Council on July 30, 1992.4.3.4 Phase III - The Working Group & Neighbourhood GroupsPhase III is the Project on Aging's final stage. Beginning in September 1992, it will end41in January 1994 when a concluding report on the pilot Project on Aging will be submitted toCouncil. During this phase, citizens participate in the project mainly through two techniques;the Working Group, for those interested in the project from a city-wide issue-based perspective;and through neighbourhood based groups, some of which have been continuously active sincethe workshop planning stage.Neighbourhoods Groups and the "Vancouver Community Building Fund"People who participated in the project at this stage through a group based in theirneighbourhood did so in varying degrees. In some areas, neighbourhood-based "Ready or Not!"groups amalgamated with another citizen groups, such as residents' associations or "HealthyCommunities" groups. In other areas, the groups continued to operate independently, someusing ideas generated at the April 1992 workshops to develop projects for immediateimplementation in their neighbourhoods. Altogether about nine of these groups continuedmeeting after the April, 1992 workshops.Many of the active neighbourhood-based groups responded to the project coordinator'sinvitation to submit proposals for funding from the Vancouver Community Building Fund. Thisfund ($67,500 in total), which had been approved by the Council in July, 1992, receivedcontributions from the City of Vancouver and four other funders including government, non-profit and private sector groups. On October 14, 1992, the project coordinators sent letters tocurrent or past project participants in each neighbourhood making them aware of the fund andinviting proposals. By May 11, 1993, fifteen neighbourhood and cultural-community basedgroups had received $2,600 dollars each for projects that fulfilled the fund's goal " support42the neighbourhoods and communities participating in 'Ready or Not!' in developing the ideasthey identified to build, strengthen and create their own 'sense of community" (Policy Report,"Social Development, Aging", July 1, 1992; Appendix B:1). Added to this general goal werespecific objectives and suggestions for neighbourhood groups to follow in developing theirproject proposals.The Working Group and the Strategic Plan on AgingThe Working Group was formed in September, 1992 and will continue to operate on anon-going basis until the project ends in January, 1994. It is comprised of twelve members ofthe public (from 11 different neighbourhoods), and ten Vancouver City Staff (from 7 depart-ments and the Vancouver School Board). From 300 people who were invited to submit lettersof interest, twelve members of the public were chosen by the Steering Committee, using theterms of reference they developed'. The ten Staff members were people from departmentswho had expressed an interest in the project in the past.In terms of procedure, the Working Group made decisions on the basis of consensus ofits members. It was chaired jointly by the project coordinator and a resident. Minutes from themeetings (on average, three per month) were recorded on a rotating basis by the committeemembers. The main task of the Working Group was "to produce a plan for strategic changewith respect to the impact of aging on the city's population" (Policy Report: "SocialDevelopment, Aging", July 1, 1992;Appendix E:1). In addition, their other tasks were tosupport community building activities in neighbourhoods and help evaluate the Project on Aging.12 The Steering Committee ceased to meet after the Working Group began meeting in October, 1992.43During the fall of 1992, the Working Group met regularly to discuss the content, formatand strategies for drafting the Strategic Plan. The ideas were shared with 80 members of thepublic (who had participated in some way in the project before) at another Inter-NeighbourhoodForum held on November 26, 1992. At this forum, participants were invited to suggest possibleapproaches that would make the "Strategic Plan" action oriented. They were also asked toshare experiences relating to their "Community Building Projects" . Twenty of the peopleattending volunteered to participate Working Group sub-committees later on.The Strategic Plan had been characterized in planning reports as a document that would"assist, encourage and promote community-based action", as well as help prepare the City ad-ministration for the "changes resulting from a population undergoing a major demographic shift"(Policy Report, "Social Development, Aging", October 1, 1991:3). City staff decided andparticipants agreed that the Strategic Plan should specifically identify and provide direction foractions to which the City and community could lend equal support. In the period fromNovember, 1992 to April, 1993, the City staff--citizen "Working Group" developed severalstrategies for achieving these general goals.Firstly, they agreed that the plan should focus on addressing the concerns identified inthe neighbourhood workshops. Accordingly, they divided into nine issue-based sub-committees:Arts and Culture, Community Empowerment, Education, Environment/Neighbourhood Planning,Health, Housing, Recreation, Safety and Security, and Transportation, (these categories wereintroduced in the Workshop Analysis document). The sub-committees began meeting in January,1993 and each invited an average of four to five people (usually residents) to work with them.All the sub-committees were given the same objectives, timetable and operating checklist decided44on by the Working Group and submitted their individual papers for review by the WorkingGroup in April, 1993.Another strategy used in the process of drafting the strategic plan involved the use of avariety of informational resources. Citizens and staff on each sub-committee made use of amany information sources to help them with the job of writing a short paper on their subject,(which collectively form a large portion of the Strategic Plan) 13 . The "resources" used includedtwo hour meetings with "experts", who were identified and invited by staff and residents toadvise them on possible actions neighbourhoods could take around the issues identified.Members of the sub-committees were invited to these "advisory" Working Group meetingswhich took place in January and February, 1993. Other informational resources were suppliedby the reports the Social Planning Department requested from each City department asking themto identify ways in which population aging would cause changing demands on their resources.For instance, those on the Education sub-committee, received the Vancouver Public Librariesreport of March 8, 1993 "Library Service to an Aging Population", which was the result of afocus group discussion by library users. Also made, compiled and distributed by the SocialPlanning Department around this time was the April 1993 "Inventory of Neighbourhood-BasedOrganizations" which lists many community-based or community oriented groups in Vancouverby neighbourhood.In May 1993, the papers produced by the sub-committees were collectively reviewed bythe Working Group. While all sub-committees were given suggested guidelines, the issue based13 The other portion of the Strategic Plan will be composed of the reports from each of the City's departmentson the anticipated impacts of an aging population on the services they provide and their recommendations forresponding to these changes within existing budget constraints (Policy Report: "Social Development, Aging",October 1, 1991:1).45papers produced by each of the nine groups varied considerably in form and content due to thedifferent resources used and approaches taken to the task. The Working Group's reviewinvolved discussing and editing each of the nine papers. Once this task was completed, theWorking Group began to meet less frequently. These meetings were for the purpose of planningthe final sub-committee and community reviews of the Strategic Plan to take place in the summerand fall of 1993 respectively. It will be submitted to Council in January of 1994.4.3.5 EpilogueTo date, the method for obtaining community feedback on the plan is still undetermined.Completion of the project has been delayed due to the November, 1993 civic elections and timeconstraints of the Social Planning staff coordinating the project. Most likely, after a review byWorking Group sub-committee members, citizens who have participated in the project to datewill receive the document in the mail and then be asked to attend a Strategic Plan reviewmeeting to revise it and make suggestions with regard to its on-going implementation.Also to further implementation of the project, Social Planning staff have announced thepossibility of implementing some of the ideas through another project for piloting aneighbourhood based planning approach and thereby establishing a framework for on-goingpartnership between citizens and the City.4.4 ConclusionThe model of citizen participation used by the City of Vancouver in the Project on Agingwas intended to offer members of the public a "new and improved" way to be involved in a46municipal planning process. The City together with citizens were meant to address social policyissues related to social service provision. From this description, it is clear that citizensparticipated in the "Ready or Not!" Project on Aging at different times in different waysthroughout its three phases. How did the participation techniques used reflect principles ofpartnership? How did partnership as practised in this case overcome some of the deficienciesassociated with participation? Was the citizen participation process used a success or failure interms of its stated objectives and theoretical considerations? The case analysis in the followingchapter will suggest answers to these questions.475. CASE STUDY FINDINGS: ANALYSIS OF THE CITIZEN PARTICIPATIONPROCESS, PARTNERSHIP IN PRACTICE5.1 Introduction"To develop a partnership with the community" is one of the "Ready or Not!" Projecton Aging's three main goals. What does the partnership model for citizen participation meanin practice? As it is utilized by the City of Vancouver through the Project on Aging, ispartnership a symbolic gesture or a substantive effort? These questions will be addressed in thissection, following a brief overview of some considerations for analysis.5.1.1 Evaluation of Citizen Participation ProgramsRosener's (1983) list of factors that make the assessment of citizen participation programsproblematic is both comprehensive and succinct:1. the participation concept is complex and value laden;2. there are no widely held criteria for judging success and failure;3. there are no agreed-upon evaluation methods; and4. there are few reliable measurement tools. (Rosener, 1983:45).These barriers to precise "measurement" of participation effectiveness pose a problemfor its practitioners and advocates, especially in times when citizen participation is on thepolitical defensive. Thus, proponents of the view that "...public officials must cease to acceptuncritically each new instance of citizen participation and every new effort to extend itsoperation" (Cupps, 1977:478) have much in the way of ammunition when it comes to assessingthe "proof" of the effectiveness of participation programs. There is no proof. What does existare lessons that have emerged from a growing body of literature examining and evaluatingcitizen participation on a case by case basis (Burton, 1979). Hence, while the partnership modelwould seem to offer a means by which decision making power is shared, only by examining48applications of the model in practice can this be verified.A common method used to assess citizen participation programs has been through the useof quantitative measurements focusing on the number of people involved in the planning process.The rationale for this approach is that in terms of participation 'more is better', since greaterparticipation means more of the population has had the chance of having their interestsrepresented and therefore taken into account during the decision making process. As oneresearcher points out however, this may not be a suitable way of assessing citizen participationprocesses:one may attempt to evaluate public participation primarily in terms of 'amount' ofparticipation or participants, but this can lead to overlooking a fundamental principle ofparticipation, which is that the breadth and quality of the public's contributions are moreimportant to decision making than quantity" (Cuthbertson, 1983:105).Qualitative examination of the design and techniques used to implement the partnershipmodel in practice is the analytical approach used here. Analysis of the Project on Aging willprovide answers to the following questions:1. How does the design of the citizen participation process reflect the principles ofpartnership discussed in Chapter 3?2. Are the merits of the model borne out in practice?3.^How are the problems associated with it manifested and dealt with?5.1.2 Framework for Analysis of the Partnership Model in PracticeThe answers to the preceding questions will be provided in a two part evaluation of theProject on Aging. In the first part, evidence of a successful City-citizen partnership in theProject on Aging will be sought. This involves a discussion of techniques used to accomplishthe 'partnership' objective and the nature of the decision making that occurred during each phaseof the planning process. (Although the project is still in its final stages, the major instances of49citizen participation in the project have already taken place and may be examined in theirentirety.) This approach reflects the principle that a citizen participation program's success willdepend on the how well the techniques deployed match the stated objectives (Glass, 1979:180).Also, access to resources, as a condition for and evidence of partnership is considered. This isprompted by the view that for meaningful partnerships to occur, "mobilization" of partners whopossess "disproportionate means" is required (Parenteau, 1988:63).In the second part of the analysis, the merits and limitations of the partnership model willbe assessed. Also examined is the way in which the model as practised addresses the issues ofmultiple objectives, autonomy and power raised in the literature and discussed earlier. Methodsused to gather data for analysis included: document analysis, interviews with key informants andobservation of the project as a participant in the Working Group during Phase III.5.2 The "Partnership" ObjectiveIn a October 1, 1991 report to the Vancouver City Council, Project on Aging planningstaff defined partnership in the following way: "partnership with the community means equalparticipation in the development of recommendations to [political] decision-makers. Therecommendations will be based on a consensus model" (Policy Report, "Social Development,Aging", 10 01, 1991:5). In the same report staff submitted that "all participants will receivethe same information. The process will be conducted openly and honestly, with no hiddenagendas" . Another stated assumption on the part of the project organizers is that "municipalgovernment and the public working together as partners will increase the community's collectivecapacity to make decisions and create positive change" (Policy Report, "Social Development,Aging" October 1, 1991).50The City of Vancouver's stated intentions reflect interpretations of partnership asinvolving 'collaborative' or 'joint' planning, and 'shared decision making' found in the theory.The selection of the partnership model for citizen participation in the project in itselfdemonstrates the intent to share decision making power by considering and acting on both theadministrative and citizen objectives for participation. Examination of the citizen participationtechniques used to achieve the partnership objective will provide answers to the most criticalquestion for evaluation: what decisions were citizens involved in and how?5.3 Techniques for Partnership: Shared Decision Making in the Planning ProcessA successful partnership entails the use of techniques in the planning process that allowboth 'partners', in this case the City and citizens, to have decision making powers to ensure thattheir needs and interests are addressed. Citizen participation techniques that involved a mix ofCity staff working together with citizens through all phases of the planning process wereeffectively used to achieve the partnership objective. Table 2 shows how the participantsinvolved in each stage of the planning process were most often comprised of a City staff--resident mix.Involving residents and City staff in joint planning is a significant means towardachieving partnership for two reasons. Firstly, it ensured that the diverse range of interests andperspectives among the "citizen" partners was represented. Members of the public involved inthe project, who were sometimes self-selected (e.g., participants in the NeighbourhoodWorkshops), and at other times formally selected (e.g., participants in the Working Group),came from the 22 neighbourhoods in Vancouver. Similarly, a considerable effort was made to51involve City staff from each of the 14 departments in the project, thus also representing theheterogenous nature of the "City" partner. Secondly, the staff-resident mix is significant interms of creating a non-hierarchical structure for decision making All individuals involved injoint planning were considered equal, in terms of their right to express dissenting opinions,suggest directions for future action, access information and bring their own ideas and resourcesto the project.Equally important to the fact that both city and citizen partners were present in thesegroups, is the role they played at each stage in the planning process: in project definition andplanning, issue identification, plan writing and implementation.52Table 2: Partnership TechniquesVehicles for Staff-Resident ParticipationGroup Planning Phase ParticipantsPreliminary meetings withrepresentatives from Community-Based Groups and CityDepartments, (several)Phase IProjectConceptualizationinformalmeetings,total numbersunknownSteering Committee (1) Phase IProject Planning16-17 people,about 50% staff50% residentsand community-based agencypeopleNeighbourhood WorkshopPlanningGroups (24)Phase INeighbourhoodWorkshop, planning &organization250 residentstotal plusstaff based inneighbourhoodsNeighbourhood Workshops (24) Phase IIPublic consultationover 1,200 total4 councilmembers102 staffover 1,000residentsInter-neighbourhood Forum (3) Interim PhaseInformation Sharing:Working Group--Project GroupSub-CommitteerecruitmentOver 75residentsplusWorking GroupWorking Group (1) Phase IIIPlan Drafting22 people12 residents10 staffProject Groups (15)(recipients of VancouverCommunity Building Fund)Phases II-IIIProject Implementationresidents only535.3.1 Beginnings of Partnership: Project Definition & PlanningThe first technique used to bring the partners committed to social development togetherwas the resident-City staff Steering Committee. The sixteen member Steering Committee wasparticularly important during the early stages of the project when the concept of socialdevelopment took shape as the "Ready or Not!" Project on Aging. Decision making undertakenby the committee related to project definition and planning, specifically focusing on what socialdevelopment goals could be most effectively met, with the assumption that citizen participationin implementing these goals would be essential to the project's success. Once the Project onAging had been conceptualized, the Steering Committee began planning of the project stages andtechniques to be used for citizen participation throughout the project.In addition to the eight or so citizen members of the Steering Committee, other membersof the public were involved at this stage in planning process through two community meetingsheld in February and November 1991. Residents attending either of these meetings wereinvolved in project design and at the same time, project organizers hoped public awareness ofthe project would create support for its implementation. Indeed, at the second of these meetings,of the 150 who attended, 104 volunteered to become part of the Neighbourhood WorkshopPlanning Team in their area. The eventual involvement of 250 residents and City staff inplanning and organizing as part of Neighbourhood Workshop Planning Teams and running theNeighbourhood Workshops as facilitators and recorders is evidence of considerable sharing ofdecision making power amongst the partners involved.Shared power through partnership requires that people have the opportunity to participatenot only in drafting a plan, or even identifying the issues, but also in design of the project. This54is a considerable achievement considering that according to the findings of other researchers,"...using the participation program itself to define the plan, or outline the participation programsown objectives..." is seldom carried out in practice (Bousfield, 1976:11).5.3.2 Issue IdentificationCitizen participation in the next stage of the planning process took place using asimultaneous workshop technique. As described in the preceding chapter, twenty-fourNeighbourhood Workshops held in April, 1992 at which over 1,000 neighbourhood residentsidentified priority issues to be addressed by citizens and the City to prepare for the impacts ofthe aging population on neighbourhoods and City social service provision. Participants identifiedchanges or improvements they believed would be required in social services and other positiveamenities that neighbourhoods currently offer to people as they age, as well as identification ofactions residents in their neighbourhood should take and government should take (WorkshopAnalysis, 1992:4). Using verbatim transcripts of the workshop proceedings from each of the113 Workshop discussion groups, staff analysis identified incidences of common issues raisedby different neighbourhoods. 14The workshop technique was effectively used to consult with the larger community (whohad as yet not been involved in the project) in order to establish common ground on which toproceed. While the consultation was the objective for citizen participation at this stage in theprocess, the workshops still contributed to the practice of partnership in several ways. Firstly,14 As reported in Chapter 4, the following areas of concern to neighbourhoods, in light of aging impacts, wereidentified; arts and culture, community empowerment, education, environment/neighbourhood planning, health,housing, recreation, safety and transportation.55City staff together with residents designed them. Secondly, resident teams had a substantialdegree of control over workshop planning, implementation and reporting. Next, the format ofsmall group discussions at the workshops enabled residents to contribute their knowledge of theirneighbourhood's assets and deficiencies, and to generate specific recommendations for actionto address them. For these reasons, the April 1992 Neighbourhood Workshops were used asa vehicle for joint decision making since the public was involved in deciding on what to plan forand thus setting the agenda (direction) for subsequent planning and more importantly, subsequentaction. Few of the identified changes and improvements required in neighbourhoods, such asthe need for more affordable housing, and extension of neighbourhood based social services tomeet the future needs of an aging population were highly original or unexpected. What wasunusual was consultation with residents on what specific actions neighbourhood residents couldrecommend or undertake themselves to address these needs and what actions government shouldtake to respond to the requirements they identified. Thinking in terms of action was encouraged.Evidence of the principles of partnership in practice is provided by the fact that both theCity and citizens used the results of the workshop consultations to their benefit and for theirpurposes. For the City, the results were used to justify continuation of the project to politicaldecision makers in Council. The planners concluded that based on the NeighbourhoodWorkshop results "there is significant community interest in continuing the "Ready or Not!"Project [on Aging] and the partnership model. There is also the pervasive sense that strongcommunities will support people as they mature" (City of Vancouver, 07/1992). Throughoutthe project, citizen participation was interpreted as public approval for the project, since it was56based on the common concern for the quality of life in the city's neighbourhoods. Theirconsiderable numbers at the Neighbourhood Workshops was viewed as a pool from which todraw supporters and participants in the future. In addition, the City's categorization of theconcerns of neighbourhood residents found in the Workshop Analysis created a structure bywhich to address them in the next stage.Citizens also benefited from the results of the Workshops. Groups of highly motivatedresidents in neighbourhoods voluntarily continued to meet to discuss the concerns raised andideas for action spawned during the workshops. Liaising with the City's Social PlanningDepartment, it quickly became clear that these groups required financial resources to act on theirideas, as well as interaction among the groups to strengthen community organizing in the City.As a result, many of these groups later received funding for neighbourhood based projects whichthey implemented independently of the City (see discussion of resources below).In addition to citizen and City partners benefiting individually from the process andproducts of the Neighbourhood Workshops, the knowledge and ideas generated were used bythe partners jointly in the next phase of the process which involved plan writing and projectimplementation.5.3.3 Partnership - Plan Writing and ImplementationBoth the process used to draft the "Strategic Plan on the Impact of Aging" and the finalproduct, demonstrate application of partnership principles in practice, since decisions about howthe plan would be written, who would write it and what it would say were decided jointly byCity staff working together with residents on the Working Group and its sub-committees.57Citizen participation in the plan writing process is discussed first, followed by the considerationof the significance of the strategic plan document to the objective of partnership.The Process: Plan Writing and the Working GroupThe Working Group began meeting in the third phase of the Project on Aging to overseethe plan writing and its implementation. The Working Group's membership and function wasintended to embody more of a conscious 'partnership' design than the Steering Group, whosemembers and role had been selected on an ad hoc basis. Its members included residents fromdifferent neighbourhoods and City Staff from different departments including Housing andProperties, Community Planning, Health services, Social Planning, the School Board, Police-Community Services and Parks Board. In addition to this attempt to include representation ofdifferent interests and perspectives, the use of other selection criteria also demonstrated a moresystematic approach to the committee's formation.'In terms of the operation of the Working Group, decisions were made by consensus andall members shared in the responsibilities of attending weekly meetings, recording minutes andbringing their knowledge and expertise to bear on the process. The structure of the committeewas non-hierarchical, with City staff and residents equally responsible for the decisions madeand actions committed to, while planning staff played the leading role in coordinating theproject. Preliminary decision making by the Working Group involved reaching agreement ongroup procedures and functions. Citizen and City Staff participants also agreed that the plan15 Applications for the Working Group by citizens were solicited from former project participants and consideredby the Steering Committee on the basis of a set of criteria which included "commitment to a consensus model ofdecision making" and "representation from all major geographic sectors of the city and for a mix of ages andbackgrounds" (Policy Report, "Social Development, Aging" Appendix E, July 1, 1991, Appendix E:2).58should emphasize actions rather than make recommendations which required approval frompolitical decision makers. Thus, the content of the plan was 'action oriented', wherever possiblegiving examples of community based actions that could or were taking place that directlyresponded to the impacts of population aging (Policy Report, "Social Development, Aging",October 1, 1991:5).Although the Working Group produced the framework and guidelines for use by theissue-based sub-committees responsible for writing individual sub-sections of the plan, a greatdeal of autonomy was allowed in the process of plan drafting (see Appendix C for WorkingGroup Sub-Committee Guidelines). Residents and City Staff working together on the sub-committees had considerable autonomy in terms of the content, views and recommendationsincluded in their report. Each of the issue-based papers produced by the sub-committees wassubject to review by other participants; first by the Working Group, then by all other sub-committee members and in the fall of 1993 it will be reviewed by the larger public consistingof those who have participated to date in the project.The Working Group is one technique used in the Project on Aging designed to putpartnership into practice. Many of the activities of the Working Group required a considerablecommitment on the part of all members to educate themselves on the issues in order to makeinformed decisions. An equally important function of the Working Group was the opportunityit provided for participants to exchange knowledge and experience. Interestingly, during thecourse of its operation, some adjustment of expectations was required on the part of allmembers. The balance of power involved in the partnership model required Citizens and CityStaff to re-think their roles in planning for the impact of aging on City neighbourhoods and59services. The functions of leadership, project responsibility and direction were not always clear,and because of this, skepticism, doubt and confusion were, at times, expressed by WorkingGroup participants. Because the partnership model for citizen participation was a new approachto planning and decision making, it necessitated adaption by all participants to a new method ofplanning in addition to learning about substantive issues.The Product: The Strategic Plan DocumentThe part of the plan written by neighbourhood residents and City staff through theWorking Group and its sub-committees addresses community concerns regarding maintainingand improving the quality of life in Vancouver neighbourhoods in the face of the trend ofpopulation aging. This part however comprises only half of the document that will be submittedto the City Council in January 1994. The second major part of the plan is comprised of reportswritten by each of the City's departments reporting the likely impact of aging on services theyprovide. The plan's introductory section, as well as its summary, will be written by the SocialPlanning Department staff and will recommend the continuance of the partnership model throughsubsequent joint social planning projects to be undertaken by City staff and citizens in twoVancouver neighbourhoods.The format of the Strategic Plan then, clearly reflects the objectives of the differentpartners involved in the Project on Aging's planning process. It addressed the impacts of theaging population on both City services and on the quality of life in neighbourhoods. Importantlyhowever, all participants agreed that the plan embodies only one of the products of the Projecton Aging, and arguably, it is only a means toward an end of obtaining political approval for the60continuation of the joint planning and implementation process. Thus, throughout the project,the participants emphasized not only joint planning but also joint action as a way of using thepartnership to accomplish meaningful ends. In the following section, the discussion of the useof resources in the Project on Aging reveals how joint 'action' or implementation was a crucialelement in creating partnership between the City and citizens.5.4 Techniques for Partnership: The Role of ResourcesOne of the conditions for achieving a meaningful partnership recognized by theorists isthe autonomy of each partner (Cooper, 1980). In other words, the ability of partners to takeaction and make decisions independently, as well as cooperatively with another partner shouldthey so choose, is essential. If the groups involved in joint planning and action are notautonomous, there can be no sharing of power. Achieving this type of autonomy in government--citizen partnerships however presents an enormous challenge since citizens have "...unequal,totally disproportionate means" (Parenteau, 1988:63). Thus, any attempt to create a meaningfulpartnership to achieve the objectives of joint planning and action must involve an active efforton the part of the government to make informational and financial resources accessible. Inshort, citizen partners must be given the resources to act on their own objectives, and this mustbe done without `cooptation', or compromising their independence (Parenteau, 1988:64).Evidence of a successful City--citizen partnership in the Project on Aging requires that theseissues were addressed.5.4.1 Access to Financial Resources: The Vancouver Building FundThe Vancouver Community Building Fund was created by the project organizers to help61community-based groups of residents implement any project of their design that also furtheredthe project's goals and reflected its principles. More specifically, it was started to provide seedmoney for community based proposals projects aimed at "...developing the ideas they identifiedto build, strengthen and create or enhance their own 'sense of community" (City of VancouverPolicy Statement, 07/1992). This type of modest funding (about $2,800) allowed neighbourhoodresidents or other community groups to cover expenses for projects that would in some waycontribute to improved social service provision or community development.'The creation of the Vancouver Community Building Fund is an indication of thedetermination of the project organizers to create conditions for independent community action,in spite of the fact that when the project was approved by Council in October 1991, thestipulation was that recommendations emerging from it must not require any 'new' money to beallocated to the project. In the end, with the support of the City Manager for the fund, Councilagreed that the City would contribute to the fund 20,000 of the total 67,500 dollars.The Vancouver Community Building Fund represents a significant effort on the part ofthe City to redress the imbalance in power between themselves and the community City staffspecifically recognized the need for a way of "acknowledging and supporting peoples' interestin acting to strengthen their own communities" (City of Vancouver, 07/1992) and therefore thatpartnership or shared power requires that informational and financial resources be madeaccessible to those involved. Citizens were encouraged to participate in the implementation ofthe project's goals and principles autonomously, meaning with independent means. By the same16 To date the fund has been used to provide money to 15 projects in 17 neighbourhoods and project organizersare looking into the possibility of creating a matching fund for on-going neighbourhood development projects in thefuture (see Appendix A for funding guidelines and Table 2 for a list of funded projects).62token, access to information was effectively provided to the community participants as partners,in many instances throughout the project.5.4.2 Access to Information ResourcesInformation resources were used effectively in the Project on Aging to create conditionsfor informed decision making and planning by citizen and City partners.As described above, the perspective of citizens as well as City staff was incorporated inthe conceptualization design and implementation of the project. Thus, one of the key sourcesof expert knowledge used throughout the project was the participants themselves. Because oftechniques used to involve a mix of residents and staff, there was constant opportunity formutual learning and exchange of expertise with regard to responding to the impacts of populationon neighbourhoods and social service provision. The importance of including both citizenjudgement and expert skills and knowledge has been noted in the literature (McAllister,1980:235).Citizens participated not only as informants and decision makers but also as planners andcoordinators, and in the case of the Neighbourhood Workshops, were provided with training inorder to play their role as facilitators and recorders effectively. In this sense, the developmentof human resources was recognized by the project organizers as an equally important andnecessary condition for the development of community based services. This idea is echoed bythe theory of "co-production of services" examined earlier. The basic tenet of this theory is thatthe public as consumers of public services must have input into its provision to achievemaximum satisfaction, and in this way can usefully take on the role of co-producers withgovernment (Gittell, 1980:255). Such joint activity necessitates "social knowledge transfer"63(Ventriss, 1985:435) and thus the exchange of informational resources and sharing of expertiseamongst partners.Information provided by "experts" was another resource that was used to supportpartnership. When outside expertise was required, it was made available to all participants. Forexample, people with experience and knowledge of community based actions that could be takento address issues raised in the neighbourhood Workshops, such as housing, safety and education,were invited to speak to the Working Group. Members of the Working Group were encouragedto identify individuals who could be called upon to share their expertise, some of whom wereacademics, City staff members and community activists. In addition, Project on Aging planningstaff co-sponsored two events at which individuals from the American cities of Portland andSeattle spoke about models for on-going neighbourhood participation used in their cities.Finally, provision of written information played an important role in creating one of theconditions for partnership, an informed public. City staff and citizen members on the WorkingGroup were provided with policy documents, departmental reports as well as "expert" advisewith which to make decisions and plan. Information packages consisting of copies of publishedarticles on a wide range of topics were distributed to participants in each phase of the planningprocess. These documents included the demographic studies and a literature review on the topicof population aging and copies of journal and newspaper articles on its projected impacts on theprovision of social services. Finally, all members of the public who had expressed interest orparticipated in the project were sent a quarterly "Ready or Not! " , Project on Aging newsletter.In the newsletter, Social Planning staff reported on the project's progress to date, up comingevents and on the implementation status of the neighbourhood based Vancouver Community64Building Fund projects.5.5 Merits and Limitations of the Practice of Partnership in The Project on Aging5.5.1 Citizen Participation TechniquesIn the Project on Aging, members of the public were involved in the project through avariety of techniques: preliminary meetings with community-based groups, the SteeringCommittee, Neighbourhood Workshop Planning Groups, the Neighbourhood Workshops, aninter-neighbourhood forum, the Working Group and its sub-committees, Project Groups, and inreview and revision of the Strategic Plan. By involving the public in a variety of ways, theproject organizers recognized, as some theorists have, that no one technique will fit everyobjective (Glass, 1979:188) and for this reason a multiple technique approach is preferred(Sadler, 1977:29). In terms of partnership however, the most significant instances of jointplanning and decision making took place through the committees composed of City staff andresidents, namely, the Steering Committee and the Working Group. For this reason, theywarrant closer examination.The Working Group and Steering Committee involved relatively few citizens in jointplanning and decision making. The findings of research on Advisory Committees and TaskForces, which these two techniques closely resemble, refer to a central paradox with regard tothis type of participatory technique. That is, while the role of such committees is highlyeffective in involving some of the public in creative and informed ways in planning, the role ofthe public at large is generally much less extensive (Bousfield, 1976:27). One researcher, inhis "Public Participation Matrix", represents this paradox in terms of an inverse relationship65between the number of people involved in a technique and the amount of information to whichthey gain access (see Figure 4, Connor, 1985:11-24). Suggested is a trade off between thequantity and quality of participation.Both these research findings corroborate the analysis of the Project on Aging. Membersof the public were involved in the greatest numbers in the Neighbourhood Workshops, at whichthe objective was to consult with them rather than engage them in a partnership role. Since theywere not involved in sharing decision making power, it was necessary to provide relatively littleinformation about substantive issues to the participants at this stage. Those citizens participatingon the Steering Committee and Working Group were exposed to much more information andneeded to understand and respond to many more perspectives in order to make decisions thanthe public participating at large. The problem with this as noted in the research is the tendencyfor committee members to "...judge issues in a very different light than the 'uninformed' public"and therefore create the possibility that their views as expressed for example in the StrategicPlan, do not reflect those of the wider community (Bousfield, 1976:28). This research findingraises two thorny issues for partnership practice: representation and cooptation.Findings of a study of "citizen committees" as traditionally practised in the United States,claim that this method of involving the public has some serious shortcomings (Milbrath,1977:89). These include the proposition that in general, they are very unrepresentative, can beeasily manipulated by public officials to suit their own purposes and also that the uninterestedpublic, (often the vast majority) do not have input. The Project on Aging's Working Group andSteering Committee required high degrees of commitment, time and 'buy-in' by their residentand staff participants.66IInterested Professionals^Key: PublicConsultation^ProcessReference Centre TechniqueInterested Group LeadersConsultationAdvisory Committee1InterestedPublicConsultationOpen HouseGeneral PublicInformation-FeedbackResponsive PublicationPeople^ 100Figure 4: Connor's Public Participation Matrix100Inf0rmati0nSource: Connor, 1985:11-24.67While an effort was made to attain some sort of balanced resident and staff "representation" onthe committees (on the Working Group in particular) in terms of the type an location of theircommunity based affiliation, the participants on these committees had no accountability to thelarger public, nor was reporting back to their group or neighbourhood of origin raised as anissue.The danger of using a highly interested, motivated and relatively small group ofindividuals as the main vehicle for citizen participation would seem to be the development ofelitism which "contradicts the basic ideals" of citizen participation (Sadler, 1977:11).Involvement of relatively few members of the public was more conducive to garnering andsustaining support for the Project on Aging throughout its duration, as well as for involving thepublic in significant partnership decision making At the same time, ensuring a high degree ofinclusiveness and representation by involving the public in large numbers throughout the process,was not evident in the Project on Aging.'5.5.2 Multiple Objectives and AutonomyThere is much evidence to suggest that a genuine effort was made on the part of the localgovernment to create the conditions for partnership to occur. Because the design of the projectwas open-ended, in the sense that City staff provided guidelines for the project but no detaileddefinition of issues, the process was able to respond to the requirements for partnership indicatedby the community In other words, citizen participation in the project had substantial impacts17 It is likely that one of the causes of this situation was the project's budget constraints. Project organizerswere very open with Working Group participants about the fact that while this project had Council's backing, thiswas on the condition that it require no extra staff or budget beyond those resources allocated by the Social PlanningDepartment.68both in shaping the project's evolution and outcome; process and product.The process used to produce the "Strategic Plan for the Impacts of Population Aging"is an example of the City's attempt to find the point of delicate balance between satisfyingcorporate objectives and allowing citizen input to shape outcomes and subsequent phases of theproject. The open ended project design, which created both uncertainty and lack of cleardirection at times, also allowed the residents and City staff eventually to agree to write aStrategic Plan that addressed, in addition to corporate priorities, "the relationship between aging,community building and the role of neighbourhoods" (`Ready or Not!' News, March 1993:6).Another example of the City's efforts to create conditions necessary for partnershipinclude the creation of the Vancouver Community Building Fund. By giving seed money to`grass roots' initiatives, this fund acted as a catalyst in the creation of community partners whowould in effect, have the power and means to implement shared project goals. This was acritical step since in the efforts of community organizations to avoid cooptation and impotence,money is recognized as a critical factor (Cooper, 1980:411). In addition, the inter-neighbourhood forum, the newsletter, sponsorship of talks on neighbourhood governance, andpublication of a listing of community-based groups are all examples of resources made availableby the City to community groups in response to requirements identified by the community toincrease their abilities to engage in 'partnership' with the City in significant ways.5.6 Other ConsiderationsThe extent to which the Project on Aging was successful in its goal to create a69partnership with the community has been evaluated in terms of the techniques used to createconditions for power sharing, joint planning and co-production of local social service relatedprojects. Also important to the project's outcome however were its inter-personal aspects andpolitical context.It is important to understand that the project could not have achieved partnership to theextent it did without the commitment and considerable resources of the planning staff involved.Key participants in the project were the social planners involved who called upon an extensivenetwork of people both in the community, within the bureaucracy and in the media who weresupportive of the project's philosophy and goals. The partnership could not have been managedwithout the energies of the planning staff who, paid for their time and expertise, devoted tocoordinating the activities of non-paid participants and providing a framework for planning andinter-personal networking.Citizen support and staff determination to implement the project however, cannot offsetthe limited attention the project was given by Council. Originally, the project design called forsome members of Council to sit with residents and City staff on planning committees andparticipate in project events. However, while some members of Council did attend the April1992 Workshops, none took part in the aspects of the project involving joint decision making.The reasons for its low priority could well have been the CityPlan process occurring at the sametime as the Project on Aging. The City of Vancouver's efforts to involve the public in theprocess for drafting a comprehensive plan for the city or "CityPlan" have involved over amillion dollars in local government funding, and have received considerable public and mediaattention. In effect, the CityPlan process overshadowed the Project on Aging, which concerned70relatively long term social policy goals which are not likely to generate a sense of urgency inthe minds of political decision makers.How did the planners involved deal with the difficulties involved in creating meaningfulpartnership in the context of a relatively low level of political commitment? Social plannersopenly admitted to Working Group participants that this project had a low priority for Councilbut that it would nonetheless achieve its objectives if community and City participants werecommitted to implementing its goals. How realistic was this view? On the one hand,community groups received funding to carry out projects that addressed the impacts ofpopulation aging in their area. On the other hand however, no new social services were created,nor as yet have public resources been reallocated as a result of this project. Thus whileparticipants shared in decision making, plan making and project implementation through thepartnership created with the City through this project, in no way did citizens increase theirpolitical decision making power."Finally, the limitations of the partnership model as practised by the City of Vancouver,cannot be fully appreciated without an understanding of the context in which practice of thepartnership model was attempted. In the city of Vancouver, there is no formal structure forresident input into local government decision making, nor area specific representation on CityCouncil. No system of elected or appointed neighbourhood councils exists, and even Local AreaPlanning exercises have been curtailed somewhat in recent years. For the Project on Aging'sorganizers, the challenge of engaging in partnership with the community, in a city where no18 To the credit of the project organizers however, the political context of partnership was not ignored. Projectorganizers actively supported community-based efforts to raise the issue of neighbourhood governance, and waysin which to bring about on-going participation in local government decision making71formal structure for community organizations exists, was a significant one.5.7 ConclusionsA summary of the features and techniques used to implement the partnership model, andits merits and limitations are presented in Table 3.The findings of the case study suggest that in the Project on Aging to date, citizensparticipated with government in making meaningful decisions throughout the planning process;ones that affected the design, issues and implementation and outcomes of the project. TheSteering Committee, Neighbourhood Workshop Planning Teams and Working Group were someof the techniques used by the City of Vancouver to incorporate citizen participation in theProject on Aging. Each of these techniques involved a considerable degree of shared decisionmaking in, and control over, the planning process.Decision making power was shared as was access to resources. The availability ofinformation, expertise and monetary resources provided a means of effectively addressing thepower imbalance between citizen and government. Specifically, the Vancouver CommunityBuilding Fund and information made available to the citizen participants by Social Planning Staffalso demonstrated principles of partnership in practice. In these ways, the practice ofpartnership in the "Ready or Not!" Project on Aging, while not without its limitations anddeficiencies, proves to have been substantive in nature rather than merely symbolic.72Table 3: The Partnership Model: Merits and LimitationsPartnershipTechnique/FeatureMerits LimitationsStaff-resident mix - Government and citizens' objectives andexpectations brought to bear on process.- Resources and expertise pooled.- Vehicle for shared decision making usingnon-hierarchical structure.- Direct communication of public concerns toCity staff.- Limited numbers involved- Large commitment of time and energyrequired.- Cooptation possible.- No formal system in place for on goingcommunication of participants with larger"partner" group.Open-ended projectdesign- participants had direct role in shapingsubsequent phases and project outcomes.- lack of direction, loss of momentum,uncertainty among project participantsInvolvement throughoutthe planning process- Citizens and City staff participants wereinvolved in decision making throughout theplanning process: project definition andplanning, issue identification, plan writing andimplementation.- lack of political interest in the project makesit uncertain as to what this project willaccomplish in the long run.- stakes in this planning process are low.resources - Access to financial resources provided tocommunity groups.- Informational resources available to allparticipants.- Information and expertise contributed by allparticipants.- City Council approved project withstipulation that it would require no extra staffor budget; citizens therefore had no power toinfluence decisions involving re-allocation ofresources.multiple opportunities forparticipation- The variety of techniques used to involve thepublic in phases of the project allowed forvarying amounts of time and interest amongcitizens.- The greatest number of citizens wereinvolved in the consultation phase and not inpartnership with City staff.736. CONCLUSIONThe purpose of this study has been to assess the nature, merits, and limitations of thecitizen participation model used in the process of developing a municipal plan for the impactsof population aging. The rationale for undertaking the research is that in the current planningcontext, there is increasing pressure for more satisfactory and effective methods for includingcitizens in the public planning process and government decision making in general. InVancouver, this pressure stems both from public dissatisfaction with its role in past planningprocesses and government concerns regarding social service provision for a population withchanging demographic characteristics. Thus, the incentive to share decision making power isgrowing among governments and citizens, and in the City of Vancouver's case, has resulted inthe piloting of a new model of citizen participation in the planning process. Creating a workingCity-citizen 'partnership' is a central goal in the City of Vancouver's "Ready or Not!" Projecton Aging.6.1 Citizen Participation TheoryThe analysis and evaluation of a practical case of citizen participation in practice waspreceded by a literature review. Examination of theories of citizen participation sheds light onthe importance of citizen participation in a democracy, since it contributes to governmentsremaining accountable and representative of the plurality of public interests. Investigation of themodels of citizen participation in planning developed over the past twenty-five years make clearthat citizen participation practice has varied widely in terms of the intent, design and techniquesused. Evident from the planning literature is that power and its distribution are fundamental in74distinguishing one level of participation from another. They are key factors to consider in thedesign of participation programs Of the models investigated, partnership is identified as onethat requires that government and citizens engage in shared decision making.Among citizen participation theorists, there is some consensus on the causes of failurein citizen participation practice. These include differing expectations and objectives among thegovernment actors and citizens involved, failure to match appropriate techniques with objectives,and lack of evaluation. Based on the theory, the partnership model, by giving citizens decisionmaking power in the planning process, effectively addresses these problems.Advocates of 'partnership', 'collaborative planning' and 'joint action' as it is also known,believe that the model has considerable advantages over other models such as consultation. Inpartnership, the objectives of both citizen and government participants steer the process,resources, expertise and decision making power are shared in the planning process. Problemsassociated with the model include dangers of cooptation of citizens involved, and the tendencyfor the citizen participants to become an elite group unrepresentative of the larger public.Evaluation of a case of this model in practice generated mixed results in terms of its merits andlimitations.6.2 The City of Vancouver's Project on AgingAs a response to the Municipal Council's identification of "social development" as oneof its corporate priorities, the City of Vancouver's Social Planning Department undertookformulation of a "social action strategy". As part of this strategy, the "Ready or Not!" Projecton Aging was launched in 1991 and was intended to involve citizens, through partnership, in75planning for future social needs.Though not yet completely finalized, it is well evident that the "Ready or Not! "- Projecton Aging has included as a cornerstone, an innovative approach to citizen participation in cityplanning Through use of the partnership model based on collaborative involvement of Cityresidents and staff, there is evidence that the Project on Aging created a process which hasresulted in some sharing of decision making power, resources and responsibility for projectimplementation. Since community organization in the City varies considerably, and the City ofVancouver has no system for area specific representation on Council, the Project on Aging, withpartnership as its goal, has the considerable task not only of sharing power by involving citizensin joint decision making, but also of supporting independent community organizing to make ameaningful partnership possible. In this context, partnership was an ambitious goal and wasachieved with some success and a number of limitations.To enter into a partnership, a common ground between corporate priorities and citizenpriorities has to be found. One of the significant features of the Project on Aging is a specificgoal serving common interests that underlie the City-citizen partnership. While it is safe toassume that both 'partners' have an interest in maintaining the 'quality of life' in Vancouver,as one practitioner points out "quality of life issues can encompass almost anything" (Kathler,1991:5). The selection of the impact of an aging population on social service provision inneighbourhoods provided the common ground on which the interests of citizens and the Citymet. Hence, it was the common desire, on the part of citizens and the City, to strengthencitizen activism in neighbourhoods and plan for future demands on community-based socialservices that provided the basis for the partnership.76This case provides an example of citizen participation through partnership with localgovernment, in a planning exercise related to a policy issue on a city-wide basis. Relatively lowlevels of controversy, public visibility, resource commitment, and political interest were involvedin the project. What this study cannot show, is the performance of the partnership model undermore adverse conditions, where conflicting values and objectives are involved, and in general,the stakes are higher in terms of public investment. Further research could be usefully employedto investigate whether partnership is suitable as a pro-active strategy only, or whether it can beused where the conditions for planning necessitate resolution of considerable conflict.6.3 Citizen Participation and the Partnership ModelThe findings of this study show that power and its distribution, are key variables inunderstanding the intent and design of participation methods. The meaning of 'partnership' asa model for citizen participation has changed and evolved since it was first proposed in the1960s; Arnstein's (1969) particular vision of 'citizen power' is not entirely applicable to thepresent context for planning. However, partnership, while not a precise term, does dictate theuse of techniques which allow sharing of decision making power and resources between citizensand governments. At the same time, problems associated with the model relate to therepresentativeness and autonomy (or elitism and cooptation), of citizens participating in theplanning process.The study of the Project on Aging generates some lessons for future practice of thepartnership model. This case suggests that planning in partnership requires commitment to thepartnership objective as a substantive and not a symbolic goal. This means government takes77an active role in creating conditions for partners to act on their interests using the followingtechniques:1. Opportunities for staff and residents to engage in purposeful joint planning activitiesin a non-hierarchical structure allowing equal contribution and shared responsibility forthe outcomes.2. Involvement of citizens throughout the planning process: from project formulationstages to implementation.3. Multiple opportunities and techniques for allowing public involvement in the process;not all of these techniques will involve the degree of involvement required bypartnership; public consultation may be used as a vehicle in achieving the partnershipgoal.4. Flexibility: an open ended project design allows the participants in the process to havea legitimate impact on shaping the project as it evolves.5. Access to information and financial resources. These factors directly affect individualpartners' ability to act on their interests and must therefore be provided by government.This study of the merits and limitations of the partnership model in theory anddemonstrated in practice suggests that it is a model able to respond to the need for more usefuland more meaningful public participation in planning. However, the findings also raisequestions as to how widely applicable this model is. Can it work for planning at a regionallevel? Is it successful where high levels of public controversy and stakeholder conflict exist?To what extent can the model be adapted to meet the challenges of these and other contexts?It is likely that with future applications, the partnership model will continue to evolve so that it78meets more needs in a variety of planning environments.6.4 New Directions in Citizen ParticipationIn most communities, municipal governments are facing down-loading and down-sizingof senior government support for social services and recognize their inability to meet futuresocial needs alone. Citizens interested in enhancing the quality of life in their neighbourhoodsand being involved in a process that allows them to do so, will require government support forcommunity based social services. Thus, both citizens and local governments require processesto plan for social needs that will make allow the latter to better respond to the impacts ofpopulation aging.In the case studied, the process of defining social issues and developing a plan to addressthem challenged government and citizen participants to redefine their roles and expectations ofeach other. In the past, common roles for citizens in the planning process have been as clients,advocates, complainants, advisors and supplicants. As decision makers and problem solvers,their participation may be more effective. Governments have the ability to create the conditionsfor shared decision making and need to make a commitment to preserve and support the integrityof community groups to do so. Thus, in structuring citizen participation in the planning process,government organizations...may be understood as not only producing results (i.e., services, goods, plans) but alsoas strengthening or weakening (i.e., reproducing) social and political relations amongcitizens, thereby affecting their knowledge or ignorance, active participation or passivedeference, trust, suspicion, and awareness or neglect (Forester, 1983:3).The lessons to be learned from this case reflect an increasingly popular view that79collaborative efforts by the public sector working together with citizens, the private and non-profit sectors are necessary to ensure that future social needs are met, thereby ensuring that thequality of life in communities is enhanced. Partnership is one model that appears to make thispossible, but in order to be representative of the many interests in society, governments willneed to collaborate with more people on more issues.80BIBLIOGRAPHYArnstein, Sherry R. 1969. 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May/June.44:224-231.86APPENDICESAppendix A: Vancouver's Demographic Shifts for the years 1971 - 2016Appendix B: Funding Guidelines for the Vancouver Community Building FundAppendix C: Working Group Sub-Committee Guidelines87Vancouver's Population - 1971^Vancouver's Population - 19860-45-910-14 1^15-1920-24 Ntbr-boomer26-29 SODy-b00Mst 30-34 3aby-boomer^ 135-39 Baby-boomer ^140-44 ^146-4960-6466-6980-8485-8970-7476•0-46-9 aby-boomer 10-14 'Baby-boomer 16-19 Baby-boomer^20-24^aby-boomer26-29^30-34 ^136-3940-44 ^146-4960-6466-6980-8486-8970-7476+ ^10^6 10 16 20 25 30 36 40 46 60 56 80 86^ 0^6 10 16 20 26 30 36 40 46 , 60 66 80 66Total Population: 428,280^Thousands^ 'fatal Population: 431,160^thousandsVancouver's Population - 2001^Vancouver's Population - 2016^0-4 ^16-910-1416-19  120-2426-2930-3436-39 ObY-boom er40-44 aby -boomer46-49 QbT - b oomer60-64 Bory-boomer 66-69^80-84 ^1^86-89 ^1^70-74^15 36 10 16 20 26 30 36 40 46 60 56 80 86Total population: 637,807^Thousands0-4 ^6-9 10-14 16-19 ^20-24 126-29 130-34   ^ 135-39 ^ 140-44 46-49 60-64 aaby-boomer 66-69 I:any-boomer 80-84 toby-boomer 88419 saby-boomer 70-74 ^76• 0^6 10 16 20 26 30 36 40 46 60 66 80 86Total Population: 824,408^Thousands^1Appendix BVANCOUVER COMMUNITY BUILDING FUNDA. FUNDING GUIDELINES1. Funds must be administered by a registered non-profit society. A letter ofagreement accepting responsibility from the sponsoring society must beattached to the proposal (if the proposal is not submitted by that society).2. The project must complement, rather than duplicate, existing work in thecommunity.3. It is expected that projects will be concluded by the end of 1993.4. Only one proposal will be accepted from each neighbourhood (orcommunity), but the proposals may include more than one project.5. Projects should not depend on additional funding — in other words, shouldbe achievable within the budget requested. However, additional fund-raisingto expand or augment the projects is encouraged.It is not the intent of the Fund to supplement existing organizationalbudgets. However, it would be acceptable if the community wishes to addon to an existing project — and this meets the Fund criteria.7. The full amount of the request --- not to exceed $3000 — can be paid uponapproval of the proposal. An accounting of expenditures must be providedat the conclusion of the project.8. It is not anticipated that the Fund will continue beyond 1993. Communitieswishing to continue their projects beyond this initial phase should seekfinancing from alternative sources.9. Funded groups are asked to a)make a commitment to providing verbalprogress reports for inclusion in the "READY OR NOT!" newsletter; and b)sending a representative to 2-3 inter-neighbourhood meetings during 1993.B. INFORMATION REQUIRED IN PROPOSALS (Maximum 2-3 pages)1. Project Overview a) What are you going to do? Briefly describe the project(s), includingwhy you think it will contribute to strengthening the community.b) What are the expected outcomes of the project(s)?c) Who supports the project(s)? List names of community groups ; contactpeople and telephone nu89mbers.Appendix B2. 1-1c)Lw are you going to car out the project?a) How will you involve the community?b) Will City staff be involved? If so, how?c) Who will manage the project?• who is the prime contact?• what committee(s) are or will be put in place?d) What will the funds be used for? Please identify general categories cexpenditure and include amounts.e) What is the time frame for the project?f) How will you evaluate the project?C. HOW AND WHEN TO APPLY1. Submit proposals to:2. There will be tw6 submission deadlines:Decisions will be made within two weeks of each deadline. Proposals cabe submitted for either deadline, but not both.3. If you have questions or would like assistance, call Social Planning:Chris Warren — 871-6033Mario Lee — 871-603490^  Appendix CWORKING GROUPSUBCOMMITTEE GUIDELINESDefinition of Aging:"This project recognizes the changing age make-up of the city, whereby the median age willcontinue to rise. All residents will inevitably be affected by the ensuing challenges, demandsand opportunities."Objectives:• To engage residents and staff in discussions which will result in the identification of bothneighbourhood and City actions to address the issues of aging. The issues of aging —along with other issues — are best addressed through strong, involved and informedcommunities.• To understand what impact aging has on the community at large.Checklist:(For each sub-committee to strive for, encourage and support)a.^multicultural involvement_b.^youth involvementc. inter-generational linkagesd. neighbourhood empowermente. staff/ resident partnerships (shared responsibility)f. solutions leading to actiong. the relationship between actions and objectivesh. a focus on strengths and assetsi. plain languagej. allowing all participants to be heardk.^inclusiveness in both planning & implementation of community roundtables1.^ensuring the issue fits the mandate of "READY OR NOV."?m. opportunities for recognition of achievementsn. inclusiveness of the special needs of all residents — physical, economic and social91


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