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Towards common ground : sustainable development in Southeast False Creek Irwin, John Jacob Michael 2004

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T O W A R D S C O M M O N GROUND: SUSTAINABLE D E V E L O P M E N T SOUTHEAST F A L S E C R E E K by JOHN J A C O B MICHAEL IRWIN B.A. Hons., The University of Alberta, 1995 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE D E G R E E OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY in THE FACULTY OF G R A D U A T E STUDIES (Resource Management and Environmental Studies) We accept this thesis as conforming :' to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA May 2004 © John Jacob Michael Irwin, 2004 ABSTRACT This thesis focuses on communicative participation processes and the mutual understanding that can occur amongst participants. This mutual understanding can often lead to better sustainability planning outcomes. It analyzes both the process and the outcomes of the process through a case study. The principle research question addressed is: does communicative participation in development processes, by a broad range of interests, contribute to social, environmental, and economic sustainability? The research instruments include: action research conducted by the author in the Southeast False Creek Model Sustainable Community Planning Process case study, which took place in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada; twenty qualitative interviews with the members of a policy Advisory Group, staff of the local civic government, and political representatives; and analysis of the key planning documents generated by the process and other contextual documentation. The findings from the action research are presented, followed by the qualitative interview findings. These two types of results (which were conducted independently of each other) were then compared, analyzed, and contrasted with the literature in an iterative manner. The literature consulted includes: communicative action, communicative action in planning, public participation, sustainable development and sustainable urban development (ecological, social, and economic). Two sets of criteria, one for the process and the other for the outcome, were derived from the literature review. The research findings indicate that this case study is an example of a reasonably good communicative participation process that was deep and long-term, but did not involve the broader community as well as it could have. The analysis concludes, however, that power played a significant role in this case study. This highlights the need for communicative action theory in planning to be supplemented, extended, and revised. Communicative action theory could be strengthened by being supplemented by political economic theory, progressive planning theory, mobilization theory, and postmodern trans-cultural planning theory. The process outcome, the policy for Southeast False Creek, was found to make marked progress towards ecological sustainability, and marginal movement towards economic sustainability. The policy was found to be quite lacking in terms of social sustainability, although it was given more consideration than in previous development policy in Vancouver. A lack of focus on social sustainability was found in the process, and this was reflected in the policy. Although the sustainability policy was found to be quite weak overall, it did lead towards greater sustainable urban development in Vancouver, and increased awareness about sustainability in the development policy community. This thesis makes a significant contribution to communicative action theory by analyzing a case study that put this theory into practice. It may also improve planning practice by recommending ways to improve communicative participation processes. TABLE OF CONTENTS Abstract ii Table of Contents iii List of Tables ix List of Illustrations x Preface xiii Acknowledgements xiv CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION 1.0 Introduction 1 1.1 Introduction to the Case Study 2 1.2 Structure of the Thesis 8 1.3 Limitations 9 1.4 The Thesis' Contribution to the Planning Literature 9 CHAPTER 2:COMMUNICATIVE PARTICIPATION: COMMUNICATIVE ACTION, PUBLIC PARTICIPATION, AND PLANNING 2.0 Introduction 11 2.1 Progressive Planning and Communicative Action Theory 11 2.1.1 Power 17 2.2 The Philosophical Roots of Communicative Action (CA) 20 2.2.1 TheLifeworld 23 2.2.2 The Administrative and Economic System 24 2.2.3 The Colonisation of the Lifeworld 26 2.3 Limitations of Communicative Action Theory 28 2.3.1 Philosophical Critiques 28 2.3.2 A Sociological Critique 30 2.3.3 Planning Theorist Critics 31 2.4 Public Participation 37 2.4.1 The Promises of Public Participation 44 2.4.2 The Limitations of Public Participation 46 2.5 Democratic Theory and Communicative Participation 47 2.6 The Policy Community 52 2.6.1 Interest Groups 53 2.6.2 The Policy Cycle Mode 54 2.6.3 The Role of Urban Interest Groups 54 2.7 Local Political Economy 56 2.8 Power and Ideology 58 2.8.1 The Neo-Liberal, or Neo-Conservative Approach 59 2.8.2. The Neo-Pluralist Approach 59 2.8.3 The Neo-Marxist Approach 61 2.9 Criteria for Communicative Consensus-based Processes 66 2.9.1 Process Criteria 69 2.10 Conclusion 70 C H A P T E R 3 : T O W A R D S S U S T A I N A B L E U R B A N D E V E L O P M E N T 3.0 Introduction: Sustainable Urban Development Defined 72 3.1 Strong Versus Weak Sustainability 76 3.2.1 Ecological Sustainability 80 3.2.2 Social Sustainability 84 3.2.3 Economic Sustainability 88 3.3 Sustainability at the International and Local Scale 92 3.4 Sustainable Urban Development Precedents 95 3.4.1 Westerpark Car Free Housing Project 96 3.5 Indicators of Sustainable Urban Development 99 3.6 Two Primary Indicators: Water Quality and Transportation 102 3.6.1 Nonpoint Source Pollution and Impervious Surfaces 102 3.6.2 Sustainable Urban Transportation 104 3.7 Outcome Criteria 107 3.8 Conclusion 110 C H A P T E R 4: F R O M B R O W N F I E L D T O S U S T A I N A B L E U R B A N O A S I S 4.0 The Planning Context 111 4.1 The SeFC Planning Process 111 4.1.1 A Brief Historical Snapshot I l l 4.1.2 The Governmental Context 112 4.1.3 The Policy Context 116 4.1.4 The SeFC Working Group 117 4.1.5 The Development Consultant 118 4.1.6 The First Step Towards Sustainable Urban Development 119 4.1.7 The SeFC Advisory Group 120 4.1.8 The Sustainable Development Consultants 122 4.1.9 The Loss of Heritage and An Unsustainable Interim Use 122 4.1.10 The Sustainability Report 123 4.1.11 The Policy Statement 123 4.1.12 The City of Vancouver's 'Expert' Design Charette 124 4.1.13 The 'Al l Parkland' Lobby 124 4.1.14 Southeast False Creek Policy Adopted by Vancouver's City Council... 126 4.2 South False Creek 128 4.3 Fairview Slopes 131 4.4 North False Creek 133 4.5 Local Political Economic Context 136 4.6 Conclusion 144 C H A P T E R 5: M E T H O D S 5.0 Introduction 145 5.1 Action Research 146 5.2 Action Research Methods 149 5.3 Qualitative Interviews 150 5.4 Document Analysis 151 iv 5.5 Neo-Marxist Political Economic Context 152 5.6 Limitations '. 152 5.7 Case Study Propositions and Research Questions 153 5.8 Research Criteria, Questions and Measures 154 5.8.1 Process Criteria, Questions, and Measures 154 5.8.2 Outcome Criteria, Questions, and Measures 160 5.9 Conclusion 164 C H A P T E R 6: R E S U L T S O F T H E R E S E A R C H I - A C T I O N R E S E A R C H 6.0 Introduction 165 6.1 Inclusion 165 6.2 Equality of Opportunity 167 6.3 Objective, Social, and Subjective Issues Were Addressed in the Process 168 6.3.1 Objective Issues 168 6.3.2 Social Issues were Addressed 169 6.3.3 Subjective Issues 169 6.4 Opportunity to Suggest a Facilitator 170 6.5 The Facilitation Was Productive and Efficient 170 6.6 Mutual Understanding ; 171 6.6.1 Full and Deep Discourse Preceded Consensus 172 6.7 Transparency 172 6.8 Power Impartiality 173 6.8.1 Powerful Participants Freely Shared Information with Al l 175 6.8.2 Accuracy of the Process' Information 176 6.8.3 Powerful Participants Have Influence With Decision-Makers 177 6.8.4 Cost Effectiveness and Efficiency 177 6.9 OUTCOME 179 6.10 General Policy Assessment 179 6.11 The SeFC Policy Increased Sustainable Urban Development in Vancouver 181 6.12 Ecological Sustainability 182 6.12.1 Efficient Use of Land 182 6.12.2 Reduction or Elimination of Pollution 183 6.12.3 Reduction in the Use of Natural Resources 185 6.12.4 Effective Monitoring 185 6.13 Social Sustainability 186 6.13.1 Equality 186 6.13.2 Community Capacity 187 6.13.3 Urbanity 188 6.13.4 Interests and Representativeness 189 6.13.5 Conflict Reduction, and Flexible and Networked Practices 190 6.13.6 Flexible and Networked Practices 190 6.13.7 Second Order Effects 191 6.14 Economic Sustainability 192 6.14.1 Economic Security ; 192 6.14.2 Ecologically Sound Economic Activity 192 6.14.3 Local Self-reliance 193 6.14.4 Cost Reduction and Benefits 194 v 6.15 Creative Adaptation 195 6.16 Adaptation and Contingency Planning 195 6.17 Implementation 195 6.18 Feasibility and Fit Between Participants' Needs and Future Actions 196 6.19 Commitment for Implementation 196 6.20 Conclusion .197 CHAPTER 7: RESULTS OF THE RESEARCH II -PROCESS 7.0 Introduction 198 7.1 Inclusion 199 7.2 Inclusion of Relevant and Significant Interests 202 7.3 Long-term Involvement 205 7.4 Equality of Opportunity 207 7.5 Participants Set Groundrules, Tasks, and Objectives 208 7.6 Participants Challenged Basic Assumptions 210 7.7 Objective Issues 212 7.8 Social Issues 213 7.9 Subjective Issues 215 7.10 Opportunity to Suggest Facilitation and Methods of Facilitation 216 7.11 Facilitation was Productive and Efficient 217 7.12 Mutual Understanding 219 7.13 The Quality of the Discourse 220 7.14 Full and Deep Discourse Preceded Consensus 221 7.15 Process was Open, Participatory, and Transparent 223 7.16 Goals were Set Transparently 225 7.17 Participants' Power, or Powerlessness Affected the Process 226 7.18 Powerful Participants and Strategic Action 228 7.19 Information Sharing and Accuracy 229 7.20 Accuracy of Process' Information 231 7.21 Powerful Participants Influence Decision-makers 232 7.22 Cost Effectiveness and Efficiency 234 7.23 Participants' Concerns Regarding the Process 237 7.24 Conclusion 239 CHAPTER 8: RESULTS OF THE RESEARCH III -OUTCOMES 8.0 Introduction 240 8.1 The SeFC Policy Increased Sustainable Urban Development in Vancouver 240 8.2 Ecological Sustainability 242 8.3 Effective Monitoring 244 8.4 Social Sustainability 246 8.5 The Policy Meets Al l Participants' Interests 248 8.6 The Policy Increases Representativeness 251 8.7 The Policy Included a Governing Framework 252 8.8 The Policy is Fair and Beneficial for Al l : , 253 8.9 Conflict Reduction 255 8.10 The Policy Fostered Flexible and Networked Practices 257 8.11 The Policy Lead to the Creation of Second Order Effects 259 8.12 Economic Sustainability 261 vi 8.13 Cost Reduction and Benefits 265 8.14 Creative Adaptation 267 8.15 Adaptation and Contingency Planning 269 8.16 Implementation 270 8.17 Feasibility and Fit Between Participants' Needs and Future Actions 272 8.18 The Policy is Based on Sufficient Commitment to Ensure Implementation 274 8.19 Conclusion 275 Chapter 9: Analysis of the Results I - Process 9.0 Introduction 276 9.1 Inclusion 276 9.2 Long-term Involvement 277 9.3 Equality of Opportunity to Participate 277 9.4 Setting of Ground-rules, Tasks, and Objectives 278 9.5 Participants Challenged Basic Assumptions : 278 9.7 Objective Issues were Addressed 279 9.7 Social Issues 280 9.8 Subjective Issues 281 9.9 Opportunity to Suggest Facilitation 281 9.10 Facilitation was Productive and Efficient 282 9.11 Participants Reached Mutual Understanding 282 9.12 Principles of Civil Discourse were Followed 283 9.13 Full and Deep Discourse Preceded Consensus 284 9.14 Process was Open, Participatory, and Transparent 285 9.15 Goals were Set Transparently 286 9.16 Participants' Power, or Powerlessness Affected the Process 287 9.17 Powerful Participants and Strategic Action 288 9.18 Information Sharing and Accuracy 289 9.19 Accuracy of Process' Information 290 9.20 Powerful Participants Influence Decision-makers 290 9.22 Cost Effectiveness and Efficiency 292 9.22 Participants' Concerns Regarding the Process 293 9.23 Conclusion 299 CHAPTER 10: ANALYSIS OF THE RESULTS II 10.0 Introduction 300 10.1 The SeFC Policy Increased Sustainable Urban Development in Vancouver 300 10.2 Ecological Sustainability 301 10.3 Effective Monitoring 303 10.4 Social Sustainability 305 10.5 The Policy Meets Al l Participants' Interests 308 10.6 The Policy Increases Representativeness 308 10.7 The Policy Included a Governing Framework 310 10.8 The Policy is Fair and Beneficial for Al l 311 10.9 Conflict Reduction 311 10.10 The Policy Fostered Flexible and Networked Practices 313 10.11 The Policy Led to the Creation of Second Order Effects 315 10.12 Economic Sustainability 316 vn 10.13 Cost Reduction and Benefits 320 10.14 Creative Adaptation 324 10.15 Adaptation and Contingency Planning 327 10.16 Implementation 328 10.17 Feasibility and Fit Between Participants' Needs and Future Actions 330 10.18 The Policy is Based on Sufficient Commitment to Ensure Implementation 331 10.19 Conclusion 337 C H A P T E R 11: R E C O M M E N D A T I O N S T O I M P R O V E P L A N N I N G P R A C T I C E 11.0 Introduction 338 11.1 Action Research Recommendations 338 11.2 Participants' Recommendations 342 11.3 Conclusion 348 C H A P T E R 12: C O N C L U S I O N 12.0 Introduction 349 12.1 Conclusion 349 12.2 The SeFC Case Study and Communicative Action Theory 352 12.3 The Thesis' Contribution to the Planning Literature 356 12.4 Suggestions for Future Research 357 Epilogue 259 References 361 Appendix I: Interview Questions 383 Appendix II: Criteria for Communicative Consensus-Based Processes 386 Appendix III: List of Meetings 391 viii LIST O F T A B L E S T A B L E 2.1 Typology of Public Participation 43 T A B L E 4.1 SeFC Working Group Core Organizations 117 T A B L E 4.2 SeFC Advisory Group 121 T A B L E 4.3 Total Campaign Contributions of All Political Parties 138 T A B L E 4.4 Vancouver Mayors and City Councilors 140 T A B L E 4.5 Chronology of Key Points in the SeFC Planning Process 142 ix LIST O F ILLUSTRATIONS Figure 1.1 Greater Vancouver 4 Figure 1.2 Southeast False Creek Planning Area 5 Figure 2.1 Sources of Process Criteria 68 Figure 3.1 Westerpark Car Free Development 97 Figure 3.2 Sources of Outcome Criteria 108 Figure 4.1 Government Framework for SeFC 113 Figure 4.2 Communicative Participation in SeFC 118 Figure 4.6 City of Vancouver Organization Chart 127 Figure 4.7 South False Creek 129 Figure 4.8 South False Creek 130 Figure 4.9 Fairview Slopes 131 Figure 4.10 Fairview Slopes 132 Figure 4.11 North False Creek Concord Pacific 134 Figure 4.12 North False Creek Concord Pacific 135 Figure 4.13 Election Funding of Vancouver's Major Political Parties 137 Figure 4.14 Election Funding of Vancouver's Other Political Parties 137 Figure 4.15 Total Campaign Contributions of All Political Parties 137 Figure 4.16 Total Annual Building Permit Values 141 Figure 7.1 Inclusion 204 Figure 7.2 Inclusion of Relevant and Significant Interests 204 Figure 7.3 Long-term Involvement 204 Figure 7.4 Equality of Opportunity 209 x Figure 7.5 Participants Set Groundrules, Tasks, and Objectives 209 Figure 7.6 Participants Challenged Basic Assumptions 209 Figure 7.7 Objective Issues 215 Figure 7.8 Social Issues 215 Figure 7.9 Subjective Issues 215 Figure 7.10 Opportunity to Suggest Facilitation and Methods of Facilitation 218 Figure 7.11 Facilitation was Productive and Efficient 218 Figure 7.12 Mutual Understanding 218 Figure 7.13 The Quality of the Discourse 222 Figure 7.14 Full and Deep Discourse Preceded Consensus 222 Figure 7.15 Process was Open, Participatory, and Transparent 222 Figure 7.16 Goals were Set Transparently 227 Figure 7.17 Participants' Power, or Powerlessness Affected the Process 227 Figure 7.18 Powerful Participants and Strategic Action 227 Figure 7.19 Information Sharing and Accuracy 232 Figure 7.20 Accuracy of Process' Information 232 Figure 7.21 Powerful Participants Influence Decision-makers 232 Figure 7.22 Cost Effectiveness and Efficiency 236 Figure 8.1 The SeFC Policy Increased Sustainable Urban Development in Vancouver 245 Figure 8.2 Ecological Sustainability 245 Figure 8.3 Effective Monitoring 245 Figure 8.4 Social Sustainability 249 Figure 8.5 The Policy Meets All Participants' Interests 249 xi Figure 8.6 The Policy Increases Representativeness 249 Figure 8.7 The Policy Includes a Governing Framework 254 Figure 8.8 The Policy is Fair and Beneficial for All 254 Figure 8.9 Conflict Reduction 254 Figure 8.10 The Policy Fostered Flexible and Networked Practices 261 Figure 8.11 The Policy Lead to the Creation of Second Order Effects 261 Figure 8.12 Economic Sustainability 261 Figure 8.13 Cost Reduction and Benefits 268 Figure 8.14 Creative Adaptation 268 Figure 8.15 Adaptation and Contingency Planning 268 Figure 8.16 Implementation 272 Figure 8.17 Feasibility and Fit Between Participants' Needs and Future Actions 272 Figure 8.18 The Policy is Based on Sufficient Commitment to Ensure Implementation 272 Figure 9.1 Ranked Array of All Process Criteria 295 Figure 9.2 Ranked Array of All Process Criteria 296 Figure 9.3 Ranked Array of All Process Criteria 297 Figure 9.4 Ranked Array of All Process Criteria 298 Figure 10.1 Ranked Array of All Outcome Criteria 334 Figure 10.2 Ranked Array of All Outcome Criteria 335 Figure 10.3 Ranked Array of All Outcome Criteria 336 Preface I wrote the latter part of this thesis in Vancouver's public library. From my high vaulted ceiling desk on the library's fourth floor I would look out at the 'city as a modernist machine.' A city formed by the grid of the automobile, and full of modernist block and cylindrical towers of concrete, glass, and steel of varying heights. The only remnants of green that were evident were the row of street trees that lined one cross street and the moss on a one-story commercial building kitty-corner to the public library. This view of the city of Vancouver, however, masks what cannot be seen from this perspective. The Vancouver public library building has a 'green roof,' that can only be seen from the higher buildings that surround it or by taking a pre-arranged tour of the roof. The higher density of the buildings, could, it is hoped, reduce the auto-dependency of the most recent residents of Vancouver's downtown peninsula. This thesis is written from the point of view of someone who has been engaged in civic activism for the last fourteen years. As an ecological and social justice activist I have learned a lot from both my fellow activists and from those who have disagreed with the activist agenda in the many planning processes that we activists engage in. Many theses, dissertations, and academic papers make claims to 'objectivity' while the bias and worldview of the authors remains implicit. The strong sustainability focus of this thesis advocates for social justice, material and political equality, and a strong version of ecological sustainability. In order to add balance to this perspective, qualitative interviews and document analysis were conducted. The strong sustainability stance of the following thesis was informed by several years of study, both academic and 'out' in the field of local politics in Vancouver. My engagement in the case study (the City of Vancouver's model sustainable community in Southeast False Creek) presented in this thesis has spanned eight years (as of this writing). In this process, I learned a significant amount from fellow activists and the other participants in the process. Hopefully, by taking a more 'radical' approach to sustainability my fellow activists, and I have helped to move society further down the path to sustainable urban development in Vancouver. I leave it to you, the reader to decide. Acknowledgements: I would like to thank the members of my committee -David Ley, for his insights and comments; Don Alexander, for his keen eye for detail and editing; Mark Roseland, for his help with substantive issues; Les Lavkulich, for his ongoing support of this study; and my thesis supervisor Tony Dorcey, for his patience, extremely helpful suggestions for revision and editing, and his ongoing support over the course of the thesis. I would like to thank the interviewees for their time and agreeing to take part in the study; and Matt Galloway and Daniel Philippot for their help with digital photography of the various charette materials. Rob Wynen and Marie Claire Seebohm for their photos of Westerpark, Amsterdam, Netherlands. Last, but far from least, I would also like to thank my partner, Edna Tepper, for her ongoing support, encouragement, and help with editing, and formatting. Without Edna's consistent support, this thesis would likely not have been completed. xiv C H A P T E R 1: INTRODUCTION I should have sought a country, in which the legislative power should be vested in all citizens: for who can better judge than themselves of the propriety of the terms, on which they mutually agree to live together in the same community? Jean-Jacques Rousseau The problem with socialism is that it takes too many evenings. Oscar Wilde 1.0 Introduction Sustainable urban development is defined in this thesis as development which meets the needs of the present populations of humans and other species without compromising the ability of future generations to both thrive and survive. It holds out the promise of merging technological and social solutions to the resource use (supply, demand, and demand management), and environmental issues (global warming, air and water quality issues) that are increasingly becoming apparent during the contemporary period of rapid, global urbanization. The main research question to be addressed by this thesis is: Does communicative participation in development processes, by a broad range of interests, contribute to social, environmental, and economic sustainability? Communicative action, which is arguably one of the main threads of the theory of public participation, is generally held out as one of the tenets of social sustainability. However, some theorists argue that sustainable urban development has more to do with technical or technological solutions, while others argue that differences in the power and influence wielded by participants make participatory planning irrelevant. This thesis lays out various theories and critiques of both communicative action and public participation. The linkages between communicative action and public participation are discussed and are synthesized into communicative participation. Communicative participation is defined as participation in the planning process where all participants arrive at mutual 1 understanding regarding the substantive and normative issues that the process is intended to address. Communicative participation provides a broad conceptual and analytical framework for the thesis. Communicative participation is linked to the substantive section of the research, sustainable urban development. Given that a significant proportion of the social sustainability literature calls for vigorous public participation, it has proven to be instructive to empirically determine who is involved in these processes and how they participate. It is pertinent to analyze and evaluate these processes, for any significant move towards sustainable urban development will require the interest, commitment, and social education of a wide cross section of the public. Dorcey and McDaniels (2001) note there have been relatively few attempts to evaluate these processes that are not subject to serious limitations. Analytical criteria are presented and utilized to ascertain qualitatively both the process and the policy for sustainable urban development in the context of the Southeast False Creek case study, located in the Greater Vancouver area in Lower Mainland British Columbia, Canada (see Figure 1.1-1.2). Through involvement in the City of Vancouver's current efforts to create a model sustainable urban development in Southeast False Creek (SeFC) from 1996 to the present (as an activist-planner and a member of the Advisory Group which aided the City in formulating the adopted policy for the development), observations were made of how planners attempt to either democratize processes or limit public involvement. Based on this direct involvement in the case study, action research, document analysis, and participant observer methods are utilized for analyzing the research questions. 1.1 Introduction to the Case Study This thesis focuses on a single case study: the policy-making process in the SeFC model sustainable community planning process. The SeFC planning area is located in the central area of the City of Vancouver on former industrial, or brownfield, land (see Figures 1.1 and 1.2 for the location of SeFC). Prior to colonisation SeFC was an intertidal flat rich in biodiversity, which 2 provided First Nations with many species offish and other species. From the late 1800s the area was the site of various industrial activities: sawmills, foundries, shipbuilding and many other industrial uses. In the late 1970s to early 1980s South False Creek, the area directly to the west of SeFC, was developed as a medium-density, inner-City residential development. From the early 1990s to the present, North False Creek, the area directly to the northwest of SeFC, is being developed by Concord Pacific as a high-density inner City residential area. By the late 1970s industrial use was declining in the SeFC area which is bounded by False Creek to the north, Cambie Street to the west, Second Avenue to the south, and Main Street to the east. From 1990 to 1999 Vancouver's City Council enacted several policies that facilitated the emergence of a sustainable urban development policy process in SeFC. In 1990, Vancouver's City Council (hereinafter referred to as Council) identified SeFC as a 'let go' industrial area (an area set for rezoning to mixed use or residential). On 16 October, 1990 Council incorporated recommendations from the Clouds of Change Task Force Report for an energy efficient community design for the SeFC area plan, locating employment and housing within close proximity of each other, and increasing housing adjacent to Vancouver's Central Area. In 1991, Council decided that housing would be the main land use for SeFC, with housing for families with children given a priority. City Council's Standing Committee on Planning and the Environment approved a preliminary planning time frame, public consultation process, and development guidelines in October 1995. In December 1995 Council resolved that the Office of the Environment and the Real Estate Division jointly study SeFC as a model for sustainable development. This was part of a 'Clouds of Change' status report. The development consultant responsible for the North Shore of False Creek developments (which many viewed as counter to sustainable development) was appointed by Council as the development consultant for SeFC in May 1996. He delivered the first phase of his consultant's report to Council in early April 1997. 3 4 Figure 1.2 Southeast False Creek Planning Area • iLSNOLlVXg/fpfr Source: City of Vancouver, 1997a Largely in response to public input (from a broad coalition of community, social justice, and environmental groups), Council decided that the development consultant's report was too tightly focused on economic factors and did not take into account social and environmental factors. Council then approved contracting a consultancy team to deal with the manifold issues of sustainable urban development. In 1998 the sustainable development consultancy provided: a succinct definition of sustainable development; ecological, social, and economic parameters; clearly defined performance targets; a list of relevant precedents on sustainable urban development; and a full-cost accounting (FCA) framework. In mid-1997 an Advisory Group was established for the SeFC planning area, which gave advice regarding the sustainable urban development consultancy, and the emerging policy for the area. This Advisory Group went through a few faltering meetings before a facilitator was contracted to assist the Advisory Group in its work. This Advisory Group advised City Planning from 1997 to October 1999. In October 1999, the policy for SeFC was officially adopted by Council. The Advisory Group then became the Stewardship Group for the SeFC planning area (which meets monthly as of this writing). I was involved in the Southeast False Creek Sustainable Community process at the community and environmental non-governmental organization level from the spring of 1996 to the end of 1999.1 attended most meetings held by these groups, engaged in media and overall coordination. I also participated in (from 1997 to present) and chaired the SeFC Working Group Steering Committee (from 1998 to present). I was one of two SeFC Working Group members who sat on the Advisory Group for SeFC from its inception to its transformation into the SeFC Stewardship Group, which I have attended from its creation in early 2000 to the present. I attended many other events and meetings over the course of the case study. This case lends itself well to three rationales that Yin (1989) has identified for a case study: 1) it is a critical case study that tests or expands upon a well-formulated theory (or set of theories); 2) it is a unique case; and 3) it holds promise for being a revelatory case that observes 6 and analyses previously inaccessible phenomena. The SeFC case is a specific local case that attempts to operationalize sustainable urban development theory. It also provides an opportunity to analyse and evaluate a communicative participation process. According to research completed to date, SeFC is definitely unique in a North American context as it moves sustainable urban development into a central, high-density geographical location. The action research, interviews, and document analysis allow for the observation and analysis of the fine grain of this sustainable urban development policy formulation process. This thesis takes strong sustainability, as was discussed in the preface, as the preferred outcome of communicative participation directed towards achieving sustainable urban development. This level of sustainability is used for analysis as it, arguably, is required to begin to address the pressing issues that are created by unsustainable development. To respond to these challenges in a weak, or more status quo manner, will likely exacerbate our species' ecological and social justice dilemmas. There will be 'opportunity costs' incurred if we do not respond to climate change, pollution, and growing inequality in our increasingly urban societies. It is important to note that other development processes have achieved quite high levels of sustainable urban development that either predate sustainability, or do not rely on communicative participation. Davis, California, for instance, is a precedent-setting privately initiated development, which has achieved a sustainable urban development outcome and a high level of post-occupancy participation, without communicative participation occurring, to any significant degree, in the policy and planning process. Locally, South False Creek provides an example of how the convergence of three levels of government (federal, provincial, and local) and limited, but vigourous, participation resulted in a sustainable outcome long before the notion of sustainability had emerged as a more widely accepted concept. Thus sustainable outcomes can occur without communicative participation. Whether they can be readily implemented elsewhere without communicative participation remains a research question that lies outside the scope of this thesis. 7 1.2 Structure of the Thesis • Chapter 1: Introduction. The general problem area is described: communicative participation and sustainable urban development. The research question is presented, and the local problem of sustainability in Vancouver is introduced, with specific reference to the Southeast False Creek case study. The theoretical approach of the thesis is introduced (communicative participation, sustainable urban development and local political economy). The limitations and key assumptions of the thesis are described. The introduction concludes by highlighting the contribution of the thesis to knowledge in the field of urban planning. • Chapter 2: Communicative Participation: Communicative Action, Public Participation, and Planning. This chapter reviews Habermas' theoretical basis for communicative action, the previous work on communicative action theory in planning, and select aspects of public participation theory. Critiques of communicative action and public participation are discussed. The criteria for analysis of communicative participation processes are presented. • Chapter 3: Towards Sustainable Urban Development. This chapter reviews the sustainable urban development literature, and outlines definitions of sustainable urban development. A conceptual framework for sustainable urban development is described. From this framework a set of criteria flows that are utilized to analyse sustainable urban development in SeFC. The criteria for analysis of the policy outcome are laid out. • Chapter 4: From Brownfield to Sustainable Urban Oasis. The fourth chapter lays out the historical, geographical, political economic, and policy context of the Southeast False Creek case study. • Chapter 5: Methods. The methodology of this case-driven thesis is described: action research, participant observation. The benefits and limitations of these methods are discussed. • Chapter 6: Results of the Research I-Action Research. The results of the action research (reflection-in-action) are presented. A full list of key meetings are attached in the appendices. 8 • Chapter 7: Results of the Research II - Participant Observation - Process. The results of the interviews regarding the process are presented. • Chapter 8: Results of the Research III - Participant Observation - Policy. The results of the interviews regarding the policy outcome are presented. • Chapter 9: Analysis of the Results I - Process. The research results are analysed in terms of the criteria for communicative participation processes. • Chapter 10: Analysis of the Results II - Policy. The research results are analysed in terms of the criteria for policy outcomes. • Chapter 11: Recommendations to Improve Planning Practice. Recommendations are made which can help planners, and planner-activists improve their practice. The recommendations of interviewees are presented. • Chapter 12: Conclusion. A summary is made of the research with emphasis on the results and the contribution of the research to the literature. Avenues for future research are suggested. 1.3 Limitations The results cannot be generalized from this very specific case study (Fien and Skoien, 2002). However, the results and recommendations should be of some help to planners and planning scholars who are grappling with sustainability and communicative planning. Researchers can also draw on the results of this investigation to evaluate across empirical case studies to arrive at results that can be generalized and compared (e.g. Beierle and Cayford, 2002). 1.4 Contribution to the Planning Literature The thesis adds to the increasing amount of research and literature on communicative planning. It contributes to these works by analyzing the outcome of communicative planning processes. Analyses of the outcome of communicative participation processes are in limited 9 supply. It also provides a case study of a sustainable urban development process and product that increases knowledge about sustainable development, and contributes to that literature. Additionally, the thesis contributes to the action research literature by providing reflection on planning practice, while it also draws on other methods (document analysis and participant observer methods). While it is not primarily a theory-based work, the thesis makes a contribution to communicative action theory by analyzing a case study that puts communicative action theory into practice. The analysis of communicative participation helps to test the theory of communicative action in planning by grounding it in an empirical case. It also contributes to the growing literature that contains recommendations for improving planning practice. The thesis begins by considering the theoretical backdrop of the thesis: communicative participation. 10 C H A P T E R 2: C O M M U N I C A T I V E PARTICIPATION: C O M M U N I C A T I V E ACTION, PUBLIC PARTICIPATION, AND PLANNING 2.0 Introduction This chapter begins by discussing the planning theorists, Forester, Innes and others, who apply communicative action theory to the day-to-day practice of planning. It then turns to a direct consideration of Habermas' theories, especially communicative action theory. This is followed by a consideration of the philosophical, sociological, and planning theorist critiques of communicative action theory. The focus then shifts to a discussion of the promises and limitations of public participation. The policy community, including a framework for the interest groups involved, and a policy cycle model are then laid out. A discussion of the local political economy precedes a consideration of various approaches to power and ideology. The chapter concludes by outlining the criteria employed to analyze the process of the SeFC case study. Communicative participation, participation in which all participants arrive at mutual understanding regarding the substantive and normative issues that they are addressing in the planning process, is a concept derived from a synthesis of communicative action theory and certain aspects of public participation theory. This concept evolves throughout the following discussion. Out of communicative action and public participation theory and the literature on sustainable development flow a set of criteria common to both public participation and sustainable development which creates part of the analytical framework for the thesis. These criteria share many of the same principles as Habermas' communicative action theory. 2.1 Progressive Planning and Communicative Action Theory There are planning theorists that point to communicative action theory as a paradigm shift in planning. This may be a case of making a claim for the importance of communicative action in 11 planning, which did not show much concern with communication in planning, in an attempt to raise its theoretical profile. Planning was traditionally, primarily focused on rational, or technical approaches. In the 1960s and 1970s this approach shifted somewhat towards advocacy planning. In the period from the 1970s to the present there have been scholars that accessed political economy to analyze planning (e.g. Lauria, 1995). Other scholars have stressed the importance of the spatial, and image-based aspects of planning (e.g. Jones, 2000; and Neuman, 2000). A significant strand of contemporary planning theory is focusing on post-modern conceptions of planning which highlight exclusion and cultural difference (e.g. Umemoto, 2001; and Sandercock, 1998). Some planning scholars argue that sustainable development offers a new direction for broad visionary planning (e.g. Berke, 2002). Rather than viewing these multiple approaches as a sign of confusion and conflict over the theory of planning, which is certainly present, it could be viewed as a signifier of diversity in planning. As a metaphor from the biological sciences, diversity is an indicator of health and vigour. These various strands provide an array of material, which may allow for an interesting synthesis of approaches, or are productive in that the dialectics between these multiple approaches helps to move planning theory forward. While this thesis argues that the strengths of communicative action are many, it does not seek to deny the potent arguments brought forward by other approaches. Communicative action has clearly arisen as a major strand of planning theory. Judith Innes (1995) and John Forester (1989), for example, are two planning theorists who draw on Habermas' theories in an attempt to re-conceptualize the practice of planning by basing it on communicative action. This thesis argues that 'valid' public participation processes should be based on the communicative action theory that Habermas (1995) has laid out. Planning theorists such as Innes and Forester delineate criteria for communicative action processes. As conceived of by Habermas, these processes must be inclusive, consensus must be reached by all participants, and the discourse must be authentic (participants must not knowingly misrepresent their positions, their claims must be truthful). Planners, the areas that they plan, and the bureaucracies that they are nested in, or that planners rely upon to implement plans and programs, are not 12 machines. These entities are made up of people with different perspectives who often compete or negotiate amongst themselves over their roles, functions, and the most effective ways of planning. Forester (1989) conceives of planning practice as communicative action. As the decision-maker or planner faces a situation which is increasingly open to the system, or society, the planner's practical strategy moves from optimizing (the rational-comprehensive position) to satisficing, and lowering expectations (the cognitive limits model); networking, searching and satisficing (the socially differentiated model); bargaining, incremental planning, and adjustment based on monitoring (the negotiation, pluralist-based model); and anticipating, counteracting, organizing and democratizing (the structurally focused, political economic, neo-Marxist model) (Forester, 1989). These two latter approaches, pluralist and neo-Marxist, mix and merge to describe the amount of conflict and competition amongst interest groups (Pross, 1992). They also point out the structural nature of power and inequality present in contemporary, urban human settlements (cities) and this, arguably, applies to Vancouver. These structural inequalities play themselves out in the struggles over which areas of the City will accept more density and growth, and who will benefit from growth, a central part of the planning story for Southeast False Creek (SeFC). Neo-Marxist and pluralist approaches are discussed below. Communicative action theorists focus on processes where planners have created innovative, participant-based, consensus building processes. Innes notes that "Habermas spells out a process for learning and deciding that bears a close resemblance to such practices and which provides principles for managing those processes, such as assuring representation of all major points of view, equalizing information among group members, and creating conditions within the group so that the force of argument can be the deciding factor rather than an individual's power outside the group" (1995, p. 187). Habermas (1995) termed this form of social learning 'communicative rationality.' Forester (1989) recommends that progressive planners and decision-makers engage in communicative action to organize the community and democratize policy-making processes. 13 Before options and choices can be considered, a good sense of what is at stake, who is participating, what is involved, to whom and to what we need to pay attention, must be constructed. Forester (1999) lucidly points out that: We must try to recognize difference and listen carefully, presuming neither that differences of experience, class, gender, or race, for example, must be unbridgeable and mutually incomprehensible nor that some perfect intersubjectivity will ensure equally perfect understanding, (p. 40) Here Forester is alluding to two strains of contemporary planning theory: postmodernist theory which argues that differences between people in society are paramount and seemingly insurmountable, and narrow communicative action theory which does not acknowledge that communicative action is an ideal. Difference amongst people (on the bases of class, gender, race, sexual orientation) is important. The most effective way to incorporate postmodernist concerns regarding difference is through communicative participation. Communicative participation is defined as discourse amongst participants in a process where they come to mutually understand each other through the social learning which occurs during inclusive, extensive processes. These processes, as we shall see, are also central to sustainable development processes. It is also important to keep in mind, as Habermas himself has indicated, that communicative action is an 'ideal.' Critics have used this in attempts to try and dismiss communicative action as impossible to achieve in practice; however, the same arguments were used at one time to dismiss notions of justice. Justice is also an ideal, yet few people would want to deny its importance. The subtle practical gains that deliberative processes can provide are often easily missed in processes that regularly occur in the face of conflict, with great amounts of distrust present. Forester (1999) notes that some sophisticated accounts in political science often gloss over or fail to reveal the transformation of interests and social learning that can occur in these processes. These more superficial accounts would miss phenomena, such as double loop learning where the participants' own assumptions shift during the process (Alexander, 1994). Many planners and 14 designers shape 'dialogic spaces' as much as they shape and create physical spaces, in the many meetings (both public and internal), charettes, and review sessions that they are involved in. It is significant that Forester notes that these deliberative processes are not necessarily positive. They can inspire public imagination, and give life to the aspirations of many, or they can lead to cynicism and a reduction in the visionary capacities of the public. The lack of hope on the part of active citizens that Forester is pointing to here can be very corrosive. For if citizens become cynical of the opportunities for participation that are available to them, it wears away at the foundations of democratic institutions. In order for deliberative planning to be effective, attention must be paid to both the substantive issues and the relationships that link the participants in the process (Forester, 1999). If planners and designers are to create and maintain spaces for deliberation, they must have the emotional and intellectual strength to listen to strongly held, often conflicting viewpoints. They need to listen, question, and use a multitude of methods to separate the chaff of rhetoric from the wheat of deeply held, valid, deeper concerns. A further challenge for deliberative planners is the fact that they must play multiple roles simultaneously in these processes. They must provide knowledge in their areas of expertise, while as mediators they need to listen and foster creative solutions; as negotiators they are required to defend certain positions; and as organizers they must design, run, and create relevant products from public participation, and decision-making processes. Deliberative planning can require an inordinate amount of time. In one of the practice stories that John Forester (1999) describes, for instance, it took two hundred meetings for the planner to convince the local government that they had to consider the whole infrastructure (both physical and social) if they were to increase the attraction of their City for tourism. These stories of deliberative practice often reveal that there are no quick technical fixes to planning issues (especially regarding sustainability), and it is often a slow process (which may actually, at least in the case of SeFC, increase sustainability). These practice stories also highlight what Forester has lucidly pointed out: "Politics involves not only the distribution of who gets what, but also, and more profoundly, the capacity to act, including crucially people's imagination of 15 T can...,' or 'I can't...,' 'We can...,' or 'We can't." (Forester, 1999, p. 72). These processes are inherently political, and often riven by power (Forester, 1989). In the case of SeFC, for instance, the T can't' was reflected by some planners stating that some actions were 'too political/or ran counter to the implicit imperatives of local political, and economic elites. Communicative participation which is based on consensus building requires many meetings (perhaps hundreds) to reach shared understanding, and the results of these processes are very practical (Forester, 1999). This was certainly the case for the SeFC policy-making process (there were twenty-two meetings of the Advisory Group alone during the limited period of the case study). In these negotiated learning processes the planner is often an interested party, a facilitator, and a process organizer simultaneously, while also learning and growing through the process as a participant. In SeFC, for instance, the planners facilitated many public meetings, mediated amongst interest groups and other departments in City Hall, and represented the City as the major landowner in the planning area. These communicative participation processes are symbiotic (Rocha, 1997; and Environment Canada, 1975). Top down education occurs, alongside or intermingled with bottom up education. Although this symbiosis often occurs, it is not always the case. Margerum (2002b) found that many government participants view their role as 'providing expertise,' and 'technical advice,' rather than engaging in a symbiotic, two-way interactive exchange of knowledge and information. These processes seldom take place in a linear and 'stable' fashion as the context or situation is constantly changing. As the situation changes, the plans must also change. Local planning subcommittees or processes such as the one involved in SeFC, while they occur all the time, are unique in that they provide a microcosm for studying and evaluating public participation and communicative participation. In these communicative, deliberative processes participants should have room to argue. This enables synergistic solutions to emerge. Shared understanding, at a deeper level, does not mean being 'nice', it requires that practical work gets done (while people remain respectful of each other). SeFC provides a strong example of this as it is focused on the practicalities of designing policy for, and implementing sustainable urban development. 16 2.1.1 Power While these communicative participatory, deliberative, processes may seem mundane and common, planning often takes place on a stage fraught with as many power plays as a Shakespearean, or Shavian drama. Deliberative, participatory, communicative local processes can open up, or create space, for negotiation when power is ever present, but not so entrenched as to enable unilateral decision-making. In many local planning processes in late capitalism, the developer wields a significant amount of power (Forester, 1989 and 1999; Alexander, 1994; and Gutstein, 1975). This power enables developers to present the planners, the City, and its citizens with land use maps and development plans which are narrow in scope, and allow for little room to negotiate. Participatory deliberative planning (communicative participation) can greatly increase the space, in such situations, for symbiotic social learning, synergy, and the innovative solutions required to move towards sustainable urban development. Some planning scholars have noted the lack of attention paid to issues of power in both the planning literature and in practice. Flyvberg (2002) joins Friedmann in criticizing planning research and theory for being ambivalent about power. They both assert that approaches to planning have been too normative, too focused on what theorists and researchers would like to see happen in the practice of planning, rather than what is actually happening in the Planning Department and politics. This thesis places a communicative participation planning process in its political context. As Flyvberg rightly points out, "power often ignores or designs knowledge at its convenience" (2002, p. 355). A discussion of the political economic context of the SeFC case study analyzes the manner in which power played a role in this specific case. In terms of the practice of planning, planners often fail to acknowledge that they wield significant power in planning processes and policy and implementation outcomes, or plans. Innes and Booher observe that "planners and others who assist policy-making processes typically do not recognize the power they do have or the ways they can play significant parts in producing valued outcomes for 17 society" (2002, p.222). The planners and others that were interviewed were asked directly about issues of power, both economic and administrative (see Results of Research II). An emergent concep t is being discussed in the planning literature: network power. Innes and Booher (2002) describe network power as the ability of community-based organizations, and individuals, to influence City agencies and change local government policy through a highly networked community sector (sometimes referred to as the third sector, preceded by the administrative and economic sectors). While this concept ignores those who are marginalized, or lie outside of these networks, it is none the less important to recognize the possibility of this kind of power to have an influence on planning processes. The concept of community capacity (outlined in the social sustainability section) incorporates network power and what is primarily conceived of in the literature as social capital (Fien and Skoien, 2002). The significance of community capacity in communicative planning processes, and especially sustainable urban development processes is taken into account in the analysis of the SeFC case, where network power played a prominent role in moving the process towards sustainability. Forester (1999) notes that in communicative participation planning processes it is very important for planners and participants to tell their stories. This form of storytelling is significant in that it fosters relationships between the participants which allows for reasonable differences, and civil, but not cold or unemotional, argument. These stories act to disclose and reveal concerns, and character as well. These stories may encourage the participants to come up with new demands (such as, calling for car-free development to address both ecological and social issues, as described in the sustainability section). In most planning situations, especially those dealing with sustainability, participants often have limited information and expertise. In these circumstances, or in sustainability deliberations (fraught with complexity, and many intersecting ecological, economic, ideological, and sociological factors) the planners' carefully related stories of their concerns can raise options beyond any of those originally imagined by the participants. 18 Forester (1999, pp.83-84) sums up the challenges of communicative participation by raising five points: 1) process design, and political and institutional design are barely discussed in the planning literature, these processes need to be carefully structured to create the space for public deliberation and argument, and transformative learning; 2) consensus building and mediated negotiations are characterized by their politically deliberative nature and the often greater amount of time required to successfully complete the process (this must be firmly grasped to avoid falling into narrowly pragmatic deal making); 3) the overlapping skills of negotiation, mediation, facilitation, and consensus building are in demand in planning contexts which are fraught with conflict; 4) thoughtfully designed deliberative discussions are realistically possible (if not essential) in adversarial contexts; and 5) the process and product are inextricably intertwined and are based on a range of practical considerations that come into play in real cases. Regarding Forester's last observation, this is certainly the case in the SeFC policy-making and decision-making process. In terms of his first point, emphasis is placed on process design and this empirical work considers both the policy-making process and the decision-making process that occurred in the SeFC case study. Forester (1989, and 1999), Innes (1995) and other planning theorists have based their notions of communicative action primarily on the concepts of consensus, inclusion, fairness, and authenticity which Jurgen Habermas has outlined in his work on communicative action theory 19 and discourse ethics. In order to more fully understand the basis of this theory, we will now turn to a discussion of his theory, including some of the main critiques that have been raised by other planning theorists and sociologists. The discussion is based on Habermas' earlier work on communicative action theory, as this was the theory that communicative action planning theorists drew upon when they adapted it to the study and practice of planning. This discussion is necessary as some theorists have weighed in with arguments that may be based on partial interpretations of Habermas' work. 2.2 The Philosophical Roots of Communicative Action Communicative action (CA) is defined by Habermas as "a type of action in which the actors are oriented to validity claims" (1995, p.44) and "the participants coordinate their plans of action consensually, with the agreement reached at any point being evaluated in terms of the intersubjective recognition of validity claims" (1995, p. 58). Validity claims, or truth claims are one of the key mechanisms of argumentation for normative discourses. These discourses are central to planning which is necessarily concerned with determining what future actions society should pursue (hopefully, based on some consideration of the public good). Habermas (1995) argues that collective learning which advances communicative rationality can lead to ethical progress. If planners are to engage in progressive planning practice (Forester, 1989) some concept of ethical progress based on the public good is required. Communicative action and communicative participation, which is a necessary but not sufficient precursor to CA, provide promising means for defining the public good in complex, controversial planning situations such as those dealing with sustainable urban development. For communicative action to have occurred there must be an 'action' taken, a plan implemented, which aids people in regaining some degree of control of an aspect of their lives (or Lifeworlds). Habermas' theory of society analyzes instrumental or strategic action (action oriented towards success with objects) and communicative action (action based on the achievement of 20 shared understanding). In Habermas' philosop hical paradigm knowledge is ultimately dependent on subject-subject relations versus subject-object relations (Cartesian, logical positivism). Habermas (1995) has argued for a much longer, extensive and broader form of rationality. He argues that norms (or the normative) can also be a subject of rational discourse. That rational discourse is not limited to objective phenomena alone. For Habermas being human is bound up with a certain use of language which occurs in an ideal speech situation. It is important to keep in mind the fact that it is an 'ideal.' Habermas also acknowledges this when he notes that argumentative speech is "considered as a process" and that we have to make "do with a form of communication that is improbable in that it sufficiently approximates ideal conditions" (1984, p.25). Fundamentally an ideal speech situation leads to consensus (deep or true) which is compulsion-free. Habermas (1984) posits that: Participants in argumentation have to presuppose in general that the structure of their communication excludes all force -whether it arises from within the process of reaching understanding itself or influences it from outside- except the force of the better argument (and thus that it also excludes, on their part, all motives except that of a cooperative search for the truth). From this perspective argumentation can be conceived as a reflective continuation, with different means of action oriented to reaching understanding, (p. 25) This has raised many concerns amongst critics of Habermas who argue, somewhat validly, but perhaps a little too vehemently, that he discounts the importance of economic power and political influence. However, his concern with the colonization of the lifeworld underscores the fact that Habermas is very cognizant of the inequalities in power and influence amongst participants. Three other criteria that Habermas delineates for communicative action processes are a broad inclusion of participants (the inclusion principle), a transparency of that process (the transparency principle), and extensive or exhaustive processes (the continuance principle). Regarding this form of communicative discourse, for example, Habermas (1984) states that: 21 I shall speak of "discourse" only when the meaning of the problematic validity claim conceptually forces participants to suppose that a rationally motivated agreement could in principle be achieved, whereby the phrase "in principle" expresses the idealizing proviso: if only the argumentation could be conducted openly enough and continued long enough, (p. 42) According to Flyvbjerg (2000), Habermas lays out five procedural criteria for reaching mutual understanding (consensus) in a discourse or an ideal speech situation: 1) Al l those affected by the substantive topics under discussion should be included (the inclusion principle); 2) Every participant in the discourse should be enabled to raise and critique validity claims on an equal footing (the equality of opportunity principle); 3) Participants should be able to understand each other's validity claims and deeply empathize with each others' interests (intersubjective mutual understanding); 4) Inequalities in power and influence must be left outside of the discourse to enable participants to engage in full and free deliberation (power impartiality); and 5) Participants must not rely on strategic action (discursive practices where participants' interests and aims are covert)(the transparency principle), (p. 213) Habermas' criteria flow through to sets of criteria utilized by communicative action-based planning theorists such as Forester and Innes. They are also similar to the Canadian National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy's ten principles for building consensus for a sustainable future (see Appendix II). Habermas,' Innes' and the Canadian National Round Table's criteria were drawn upon, adapted, and added to other criteria that flowed from the literature review (see Section 2.8). To further comprehend Habermas' concern with power, it is necessary to consider two key concepts: the Tifeworld' and the colonisation of the Tifeworld.' 22 2.2.1 The Lifeworld Communicative action (CA) draws on explicit knowledge; however, it occurs in a context of an enormous fund of implicit, taken for granted notions that greatly influence the interpretation of what Habermas terms: the 'Lifeworld'. Habermas (1984) introduces the concept of the 'Lifeworld' as: The correlate of processes of reaching understanding. Subjects acting communicatively always come to an understanding in the horizon of a lifeworld. Their lifeworld is formed from more or less diffuse, always unproblematic, background convictions. This lifeworld serves as a source of situation definitions that are presupposed by participants as unproblematic. (p.70) Actors in society cannot become conscious of the 'Lifeworld' as a whole and sum it up by a series of neat propositions. Behind each horizon of understanding lies another horizon. We draw on our common 'Lifeworld' to seek shared understanding about something in the objective, social, or subjective worlds. As active (or passive) agents in the 'Lifeworld' we harmonize our plans of action on the basis of a common definition of the situation. The 'stock of knowledge' provided by the 'Lifeworld' serves as a resource to help frame this common definition. The 'Lifeworld' is arrived at through consensus, which is achieved through discourse, the 'ideal' speech situation. Communicative action defines and delineates the 'Lifeworld' in societies where the 'Lifeworld' is not 'colonised' by the subsystems, the administrative state and the economic system (which are both increasingly dominated by corporate power). Habermas conceives of CA as sustaining and continuing the 'Lifeworld' in which it occurs. Therefore, it is much more than a process of reaching agreement on claims referring to the objective, social, and inner worlds (Brand, 1990). It is, importantly, an activity in which socialized "subjects, when participating in cooperative processes of interpretation, themselves employ the concept of the world in an implicit way" (Habermas, 1984; p. 82). One could argue that though the concepts of the world, or worldviews are implicit, participants in discourse often 23 refer explicitly to the 'world' as they see it, including the 'Lifeworld.' This has great relevance in consensus-based sustainability discourses as one's worldview often predetermines one's range of options of social, environmental, and economic solutions. Communicative participation provides an ongoing discourse in which participants are able to examine their previously taken-for-granted assumptions, ideologies, and worldviews. This does not mean that participants necessarily change their assumptions, however, they do come to understand how to plan and work with those who have different assumptions. The difference between the 'Lifeworld' and worldview is best explained by comparing the difference between types of terms. For example, a 'Lifeworld' term would be the concept of justice, whereas a term drawn from a worldview would be social justice, for an actor with a progressive worldview, or coercive justice (increased policing and courts) for an actor with a conservative worldview. Both worldviews embrace the 'Lifeworld' concept of justice, they each view justice in a different manner, and pursue different means to achieve it. 2.2.2 The Adminstrative and Economic System Habermas (1984) argues that contemporary society is economically constituted and based on class. Through the framework of the politically stratified class society goods and markets emerge which are coordinated through the medium of money. Money, and the power it can bestow, can have a structurating effect on the whole of society when the economy splits off from the political order. Thus reorganizations of the state can be induced by the economic subsystem (or now with globalization -supra-system). The economic subsystem employs the medium of money to de-politicize the economic subsystem (economic planning and issues are increasingly removed from the political realm) and remove it from a normative context (or away from effective democratic regulation). The administrative state becomes dependent on the economic subsystem as it requires resources to carry out its functions. In the context of local politics in Vancouver, 24 for instance, this was played out in the reliance of the party that was governing during the policy-making phase of the SeFC process on the corporate business and developer class for election funding and, to a lesser degree, recruitment. The so-called 'Non-Partisan Association' (NPA) relies heavily on corporations and other business interests for election funding (see section 4.5) and draws its representatives, for the most part, from the business community. Money and power allow the coming about of subsystems (economic and political) which become increasingly independent of the 'Lifeworld'. In other words, the subsystems are increasingly free from democratic guidance. These subsystems can only function properly on the basis of codified, bourgeois civil law (Habermas, 1995; and Brand, 1990). Paradoxically they also rely on the 'Lifeworld' for this codified law, which is only made possible by the universalization entailed by its rationalisation (through democratic conventions such as legislatures and other decision-making fora). These forms of integration: the state (power) and the market (money) 'drop out of language' as agreement over these matters increasingly occurs 'behind the backs of actors' rather than through a process of reaching shared understanding (in an exchange of explicit, and criticizable validity claims). In Habermas' conceptual framework, the distinction between abstract norms and principles versus concrete values and forms of life becomes increasingly evident and more clear. This is significant in that the subsystems of rational action (the government and the market) form and split off from the 'Lifeworld'. The emergence and institutionalization of the market depends on legal developments that codify the protection of property and contracts by law. Belief in legitimacy forms the basis upon which the origination of institutionalized governing rests. The "System' becomes increasingly norm-free and 'delinguistified'. Language is used as a means of goal-rational communication rather than for the coordination of action through the exchange of validity claims, or communicative action (Habermas, 1984; and Brand, 1990). In a planning process, for instance, the issue may be framed as one of development that serves the interests of 25 those with direct economic interest in development (development, real estate, and construction firms). This agenda is a given at the outset of the planning process, rather than relying on communicative participation to determine what is the 'best' plan to follow at the time for the whole community, or society. The independence of these new subsystems (market: money; and power: state) becomes so great that they can no longer be controlled from the 'Lifeworld.' They are free from democratic control. Limited and distorted communication must be systematically applied to keep the relevant economic and administrative functions latent (functions such as capital accumulation) and leaves the majority of the actors unaware of these functions (Forester, 1989, and Brand, 1990). This occurs in local development processes when the broader public is given short notice of developments or significant changes to policy, while those with economic power are 'in the know' about these issues. In SeFC, for example, the dominance of narrow 'economic' sustainability was bolstered by the lack of attention paid to the many pressing issues of social sustainability (social justice issues such as affordable housing; and deep and broad public participation). Also, the economically interested parties often had much greater access to information, or they were engaged in generating information that they did not freely share with all participants. 2.2.3 The Colonization of the Lifeworld The 'System's' rationalization relies, at first, on the 'Lifeworld'. However, at this stage of late capitalism, through 'colonization' the 'System' becomes destructive to the 'Lifeworld'. This colonization is not inevitable. The analysis of the 'colonization of the 'Lifeworld' takes up a central position in Habermas' CA theory. Here Habermas set out to clarify the manner in which 'the critique of reification,' or of rationalisation (the postmodern critique) could be reassembled to offer both an explanation of the decay of the 'welfare' state compromise,' and the critical potential found in the new movements (social and ecological), without discarding modernity or 26 embracing post or anti-modernism (Hasson and Ley, 1994; and Brand, 1990). Habermas conceives of these social movements as arising "at the seam between system and life world" in order to foster "the revitalization of buried possibilities for expression and communication" (Habermas quoted in Hasson and Ley, 1994, p. 16). These social movements can organize, and foster communicative participation. Communicative participation can aid in democratizing the subsystems by going beyond basic representative routines, such as voting. The case study and the thesis provide examples of 'new' movement groups and their attempts to increase communicative participation in local urban planning processes. Habermas defines 'reification' as referring to the process in which the 'System' (through the functional conditions of its reproduction) undermines the rational foundations of communicative action in the 'Lifeworld'. Through money and power the economy and the state infiltrate the 'Lifeworld' and destroy communicative processes. The system distorts these communicative processes where they are the most vital: in cultural reproduction (the media, films, and literature), social integration (planning and other political processes), and socialization (education and 'family' life). With regard to the latter, 'family' includes all types of family including single-headed households. Through analysis based on system theory one can gain access to functional relations in a relatively objective manner (Habermas, 1984; and Brand, 1990). This contrasts with his concept of the 'Lifeworld', which is based on a performative attitude (direct participation). As a result of this the distinctive nature of communicative processes can only be perceived from the perspective of a participant in a certain 'Lifeworld'. Habermas argues that only this two-pronged approach can explain social phenomena. This study adapts Habermas' two-level approach by analyzing the communicative processes in the case study as a participant observer (triangulated by interviews, and documents) and by employing political economy to frame the political-economic context, or planning surround (Abbott, 1996). 27 2.3 Limitations of Communicative Action Theory Communicative action theory as outlined by Habermas, as is the case with many theories, is not free from difficulties. This section briefly outlines the philosophical objections to Habermas' theory, considers a sociological critique, and then turns to planning theorists' critiques of communicative action theory. 2.3.1 Philosophical Critiques There is not sufficient space and time to engage in a thorough discussion of the more than 20 year debate that has surrounded Habermas' communicative action theory. Here, in brief, are several critiques that other philosophers have raised. Schnadelbach (in Honneth and Joas, 1991) has raised three main criticisms of communicative action theory: 1) A theory of rationality may not be supported by referring to the quality of action-related knowledge, such as communicative discourses; 2) The internal relationship that Habermas establishes between understanding and evaluating linguistic utterances is questionable; and 3) The term 'Lifeworld' is used ambiguously (the 'Lifeworld' is introduced from the participants' perspective, and then it is reintroduced from a systems perspective) (Honneth and Joas, 1991; and Brand, 1990). As Habermas is attempting to refute the radical relativism of the postmodern critics, it is consistent for his communicative action theory to attempt to create a theory of rationality that is based on both speech and subsequent action. This theory allows a researcher scope to attempt to 28 understand and make sense of participants' assertions in a communicative policy-making process. Even if this type of understanding and evaluation is questionable, it provides an heuristic device which goes beyond quantitative methods, and it holds promise for rendering a fuller description than analysis of documents alone can provide. Schnadelbach rightly notes Habermas' ambiguous use of the term 'Lifeworld'. However, in attempting to conceive of large systems and backgrounds a certain amount of ambiguity would seem inevitable. Consider the unspecified use of the term 'public,' which often occurs in the social sciences without any effort to define what is meant by the term. This ambiguity stems from Habermas' ambitious merging of communications theory and systems theory to provide the rationale for communicative action theory. By introducing systems theory Habermas includes considerations of power (political and economic) which many critics have falsely accused him of ignoring. Other philosophers have noted that Habermas' theory of system and 'Lifeworld' is only a one way conception. Berger (in Honneth and Joas, 1991), for instance, notes that Habermas' colonization of the 'Lifeworld' ignores the fact that 'Lifeworld' orientations could also intrude into spheres of purposive-rational action or the spheres of the economic and administrative subsystems (i.e. the democratization of the workplace)(Brand, 1990). Rather than refuting communicative action theory, one could argue that this observation shores it up, as it points out that democratization, or increased communicative participation can be an effective strategy in returning the economic subsystems to some degree of democratic control. Joas (1991) considers Habermas' conception of the 'Lifeworld' and system as problematic as the concept of the 'Lifeworld' is given both a communications theory and an epistemological thrust (the 'Lifeworld' through language provides a reservoir of knowledge and pre-understanding). Given the latter, Habermas is certainly not alone in arguing that language provides the basis for our epistemology, or our systems of knowledge. From Habermas' conception of the public sphere, it is important to note that he includes discourse which is conducted through journals (Habermas, 1993). There are many more philosophical critiques of Habermas communicative action theory, and lengthy rebuttals from Habermas as well, however, these lie beyond the scope of this thesis. 29 2.3.2 A Sociological Critique Nancy Fraser (1991) has raised a valid critique of communicative action theory from a feminist perspective. A theory which relies so extensively on discourse is not sufficient to overcome societal inequalities such as those based on gender, race, and class. Fraser asserts that "declaring a deliberative arena to be a space where extant status distinctions are bracketed and neutralized is not sufficient to make it so" (1991, p. 115). Fraser notes that while Habermas' theory of the public sphere is required for critical social theory, he does not address these issues of difference very well, if at all. Practitioners of communicative action, particularly facilitators, and especially open space learning practitioners, have developed many imaginative methods for dealing with these important differences in deliberative processes. However, these processes should not be viewed as a panacea for all social ills and inequalities. They should be viewed as one set of intellectual tools in a larger workshop of methods that will foster progressive planning (Forester, 1989). The struggles which occur away from the table are as important as the discourse at the table, and Habermas has also noted the importance of social movements (Hasson and Ley, 1994). In an earlier work, 'The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere,' Habermas (1993) traces the development of the bourgeois public sphere. He conceives of this sphere as private people who have congregated as a public. This public sphere claimed to regulate from above against the public authorities themselves (the monarch, under absolutism, and parliament in constitutional monarchies). Habermas argues that this bourgeois public sphere emerged to engage in debate, based on reason, with the public authorities concerning the general rules "governing relations in the basically privatized but publicly relevant sphere of commodity exchange and social labour" (1993, p. 27). He also argues that the people's public use of their reason in this political confrontation was peculiar and without historical precedent. This concept of the public sphere is central to Habermas' communicative action theory and it likely provides the 30 background for what he later conceived of as the 'Lifeworld'. It is similar to the 'Lifeworld' in that it functions on the basis of mutual understanding reached through discourse. 2.3.3 Planning Theorist Critics Although some planning theorists have heralded communicative action as providing a paradigm shift for planning, many planning scholars have noted shortcomings with Habermas' theory. For instance, Skollerhorn lays some of these out as: "a contradiction concerning the choice of approach in empirical studies; a neglect of ecocentrism; Habermas' personal bias towards technology and economics in environmental issues; a lack of ideas about how social learning spreads; and a neglect of the irreversible effects on nature caused even by truly democratic decisions" (1998, p. 561). In terms of the latter criticism, it is valid to note that democratic decisions are made daily to. increase the construction of roadways, and implement other energy intensive, pollution creating activities, which lead away from sustainability. Regarding the first of these difficulties, Skollerhorn notes that uneven power distribution is caused by the uneven distribution of resources in the economy. These power distortions are then transferred to political institutions when they are created, and all debates occur within the parameters laid down by these power distortions (Skollerhorn, 1998). Forester (1989) delineates strategies where 'progressive' planners can work to democratize these processes and counter these power distortions or misinformation. These strategies are to democratize, or increase the public's participation in planning or policy-making in situations that are more open to society. There are planning theorists that raise substantial critiques of communicative action theory in planning based on its lack of attention to issues of power (Neuman, 2000; Flyvberg, 2000, 1998; and Huxley, 2000). Flyvberg (2002, 1998), for instance, conducted a case study in Aalborg on transportation planning that found a disproportionate amount of power was wielded by that City's business interests. Flyvberg (2002, 1998) cites Foucault's consideration of power and calls for power to be brought more firmly into planning research. As was noted above in the 31 discussion of Habermas' communicative action theory, Habermas does take power into consideration by delineating the effects of the system (administrative and economic) on the 'Lifeworld.' Flyvberg's critique, however, is accurate in that communicative action theory in planning has tended to gloss over the difficulties of power inequalities inherent in contemporary planning processes. Fischler (2000), however, notes that there are areas of agreement and disagreement between communicative action planning theorists and planning theorists with a Foucaldian approach. Both types of theorists agree that discourse must be understood as a practice worthy of analysis. The Foucaldian approach, however, seeks to place the planning discourse in an historical context. Fischler (2000) asserts that: Foucault would find much to his liking in the writing of communicative action theorists. Yet, at the same time, he would raise the stakes for them: He would expect them to situate planning practice more firmly in its historical context and to evaluate more openly the cost that we have to pay for the adoption of "communicative rationality" in planning, (p. 359) By placing emphasis on both the geographical and political economic context of the SeFC case study, this thesis strives to analyze a communicative participation process in its historical context. Foucauldian planning theory differs from a communicative action theory approach in that it places more emphasis on what creates speakers' mental and social universe rather than their specific utterances in the planning discourse (Fischler, 2000). Innes, a leading proponent of the communicative approach to planning takes a Foucauldian turn by arguing that participants' problem definitions and assumptions are more important than their specific utterances. This is a valid argument, the difficulty is that it is problematic to discern participants' assumptions and framing of problems except by inference based on their backgrounds, current role(s) in the planning situation, and their utterances. This thesis attempts to take these factors into account in the analysis of the case study. 32 Another potent critique of communicative action theory, found in both the planning and public participation literature, is that it has political costs in that it may be viewed as undermining representative democracy and state intervention (Fischler, 2000; and Sharp, 2002). Communicative action theory should be seen as one approach among several to help formulate plans, programs, and policy. It could be considered as a means to strengthen representative democracy. In Vancouver, for instance, the City's recently elected, progressive mayor is using public forums to discuss issues outside of the narrowly-bounded confines of the public hearing/meeting process at City Hall with its one-way discourse, and very constrained time limits, in order to hear all views. A pressing issue for communicative planning theory is that of representation within a process. Participants are often selected for a communicative planning process on the basis of their ability to represent their community, or sector. Abram (2000) critiques the nature of this representation in communicative participation processes on the basis that it is founded on notions of a homogeneous community, and that those who speak in either their own interests, or in the interest of the greater good (the environment, or animal welfare) are not granted a voice in the public sphere. In response to claims of a homogeneous community the selection of participants in a process should, ideally, reflect the cultural diversity present in the community. While this presents many challenges for communicative planning practitioners, planning scholars such as Karen Umemoto (2001) are adding the concern with the challenges of communicating across culture-based epistemologies and soliciting the voices of multiple publics into the communicative action discourse. Regarding the exclusion of those who participate to speak in their own interests, unfortunately, in many planning processes this actually occurs too often. This points to a salient critique of communicative participation: that it can be misused by narrow self-serving interests to actually exclude those with less economic and administrative power. Berke (2002) notes that there is considerable evidence that often citizens of affluent neighbourhoods, in the United States, have increasingly been fostering participatory processes in order to exclude housing 33 opportunities for the poor and people of colour in their neighbourhoods. Citizen participation planner Randy Hester argues that "today participatory design is more likely to be used to preserve the quality of life for affluent and powerful citizens than to fight poverty and environmental racism" (Hester, 1996 as quoted in Berke, 2002, p. 24). While this definitely may be the case at times in communicative planning processes, Berke (2002) also points out that communicative participation worked to empower both the poor and people of colour during the 1960s and 1970s in the United States. Those with affluence and power may also be more well-connected to those in power to effect the same types of narrow self-serving ends in a non-participatory planning process. In these types of representative processes those with economic power may have greater influence over decision-makers. At least communicative participation can open up the discourse to a wider array of participants. A careful selection of participants in a communicative process should aim to include those who are most marginalized in a meaningful and productive manner. Regarding the exclusion of those who represent the 'greater good,' such as ecological issues, many members of the new social movements call for more participatory processes. In the case of SeFC those representing ecological issues were given a significant opportunity to participate. While it is acknowledged that these 'greater good' voices are often organized out, it should be noted that this is not always the case. Another critique of communicative action is that it does not take into account the spatial nature of planning (Jones, 2000; and Huxley and Yiftachel, 2000), and that it does not analyze, or use images sufficiently, as it is too text-based (Neuman, 2000). The former may be true during the policy-making phase of planning, though not always. In the SeFC case, for instance, the City of Vancouver ran an exclusive design charette, which was closed to participants on the Advisory Group. These early images of the site helped to move the process forward. In the case of the latter, the images generated by workshops, design studios, and design charettes should be analyzed. Examples of these are included in the thesis and are discussed somewhat. However, it is beyond the scope of this thesis to engage in an in-depth analysis of these images. This type of 34 image analysis should be part of future research on communicative participation in sustainable urban development. Others have asserted that Habermas has abstracted away from the participants' individual concrete identities to such an extent that his approach annuls differences (of identities and values) between people (Hillier, 1998). These critics (some of whom are predisposed to communicative action theory) argue that by bracketing difference to create more equal relations amongst participants Habermas is actually entrenching the very inequalities that his approach is attempting to address. These critics tend to view Habermas communicative action theory as simply advocating a large-scale, power disregarding, debating club. However, contrary to what these critics argue, Habermas does not picture society as a Targe scale debating club.' His consideration of administrative power and economic power (discussed above) is often disregarded by those who want to simplify his theories or to dismiss them (Flyvberg, 1998; and Friedmann, 1987). Friedmann, for instance, considers Habermas' theory of communicative action to be "the ideal of a graduate university seminar, though for Habermas it decries the conditions of the perfect polity" (1987, p. 267). This is interesting as Friedmann himself advocates the use of dialogic processes for the social mobilization area of planning theory that he outlines. Habermas conceives of communicative action as a means to deal with inequalities in power and influence. He does not ignore issues of power. Furthermore, Habermas weighs and considers communication's coordinating effect on subsequent action. It is future actions which Habermas is most concerned with and this makes his theories a natural fit for planning and it explains why many planning theorists have drawn on his concepts (Forester, 1989,1999; Innes 1995; and Skollerhorn 1998). Specifically Habermas asks: How can communication have action-coordinating effects? The coordination of action in CA implies that there are three elements which are linked together. When a truth-claim is raised in a process the listener reacts by: 1) understanding its meaning; 2) agreeing or disagreeing with it; and 3) if there is agreement the hearer follows up with action according to the convention of 35 established action obligations (if there is disagreement the interaction can be ended or both the speaker and the listener can change their positions by entering into discourse) (Brand 1990). There is scope for democratic resistance in Habermas' theoretical construct. Power requires legitimation through democratic procedures. A significant tension, however, exists between democracy and capitalism (Forester, 1989). This tension cannot disappear because both systems correlate to different forms of integration. Implicit in democracy is the primacy of the 'Lifeworld,' based on the public sphere, and integration is conducted through communicative action. Capitalism, on the other hand, requires that the subsystems (the state, and, especially the economic system) are left 'free' to follow their internal dynamics. Thus the subsystems, are held free from legitimation requirements, even at the cost of the technification of the 'Lifeworld'. The subsystems are left to 'simply' carry out their functional necessities. As a result of this, room remains to organize, democratize, and return normative control of the subsystems to the 'Lifeworld' or to citizens through democratic control (Forester, 1989; and Brand, 1990). Communicative participation may provide the means to engender democratic control of the 'System' by citizens. Communicative participation involves processes in which participants reach mutual or shared understanding about an issue, or sets of issues. How widely shared this understanding is remains a question. In some instances it may be reached in a very narrow inter-agency process, and in others it may require broad and deep participation by the broader public. In the case of sustainable urban development, and other initiatives that rely on the participation, and support of as wide a cross section of the public as possible, communicative participation must be fostered through a process that is both deep and wide. This will encourage the symbiotic learning that is required for complex planning situations. The most significant aspect of sustainability is that it touches on so many pressing issues -social, ecological, and economic- that no single expert, or lay 'expert' has a comprehensive understanding of it. This means that communicative participation, and synergistic solutions that will lead towards sustainable development require as broad and intense a form of public participation as possible. 36 2.4 Public Participation Webler (1995) argues that Habermas' concept of the 'ideal speech situation' provides the rudiments of an evaluative framework for public participation. Webler has also noted that, in terms of democratic theory, popular sovereignty is very similar to Habermas' assertion that validity based on communicative participation is integral to the 'lifeworld.' Briefly, popular sovereignty emerged from Rousseau's (1967) concept of the generalised will. It is only by hearing, or establishing, what the general will is, that those who rule have legitimacy. Through the general will the people 'govern.' Rousseau (1967), then, was seemingly advocating for participatory democracy. Habermas (1993) claims that during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries participatory democracy emerged in the salons and cafe society of Western Europe. In these settings citizens became involved with the state by engaging in discourses about practical issues and the role of the state (Habermas, 1993; and Webler, 1995). Habermas (1993) points out that the 'public sphere,' and the informal participatory democracy that took place in this 'public sphere,' disintegrated due to expanded state intervention in the late nineteenth century. Kemp (in Webler, 1995) argues that the 'ideal speech situation' shares the same attributes as pre-disintegrated, nineteenth century British democracy: openness, impartiality, and justice (although it was a political order that excluded women and the working class). Habermas seeks to re-politicise the 'public sphere' through communicative action in order to counter the 'scientisation' of politics (increasing reliance on scientific and technological forms of rationality) (Webler, 1995). This re-establishment, or establishment of popular sovereignty, or more participatory democracy, emerged in quite a forceful manner in the late 1960s through calls for increased and strengthened public participation. In her seminal article, "A ladder of citizen participation," Sherry R. Arnstein (a chief advisor on Citizen Participation in the HUD's Model Cities Administration in the 1960s) laid 37 out a lucid typology of public participation. She asserted that citizen participation is a categorical term for 'citizen power.' Arnstein (1969) argues that: (Citizen participation) is the redistribution of power that enables the have-not citizens, presently excluded from the political and economic processes, to be deliberately included in the future. It is the strategy by which the have-nots join in determining how information is shared, goals and policies are set, tax resources are allocated, programs are operated, and benefits like contracts and patronage are parceled out. In short, it is the means by which they can induce significant social reform which enables them to share in the benefits of the affluent society, (p. 216) This is a succinct, however focused, definition of public participation and it is also a precursor to the redistribution of both power and economic benefits that form the main features of much of the social sustainability literature (discussed in the social sustainability section in Chapter 3). Arnstein's (1969) ladder of participation covers both participation and non-participation. Starting with the lowest forms of non-participation and ending with what amounts to effective citizen power, here are the eight rungs of Arnstein's public participation ladder: 1) manipulation, and 2) therapy (non-participation); 3) informing, 4) consultation, and 5) placation (degrees of tokenism); and 6) partnership, 7) delegated power, and 8) citizen control (degrees of citizen power). John Abbott (1996) has dealt extensively with urban community participation in community development in the South (the so-called third world). He notes that the common response in the South, with a few exceptions, was to dismiss Arnstein's analysis as simplistic and paternalistic. Critics argued that community participation in the South was more complicated than a simple transfer of power from the top to the bottom. Abbott (1996) argues, however, that these critics ignored the fundamental influence that Arnstein's typology has had on conceptual thinking. Firstly, by emphasizing that participation is "of the governed in their government" it helped to entrench the duality between the state and the community. Secondly, the typology introduced, for the first time, the conceptual basis of intensity: that people can 38 become involved in decision-making processes to varying degrees. Rocha (1997) also notes this ground-breaking concept of intensity, however, she points out that Arnstein only dealt with power from the perspective of classical pluralism. This is exemplified by Dahl's concept of power in which actor A wields power over actor B, when in her or his own interest, she or he influences actor B to do something that goes against actor B's own interest. Rocha (1997) asserts that there are other types of power based on empowerment theory, which are developmental in nature (such as experiences of power based on belonging to a group or organization). Arnstein's conception of power can also miss the fact that synergistic solutions can sometimes work to the advantage, and interests of both actors A and B. The theory and rationale for communicative action provides strategies and criteria for creating participatory, sustainable processes for the planning of sustainable urban development. This is discussed below in the section on criteria for communicative consensus-based processes. There is a strong relationship between communicative action and public participation. Calls for more direct involvement of citizens are not new. Rousseau, for instance, as is demonstrated in the quote at the outset of this thesis, was most concerned with the participation of citizens in democracies. Draper (1978) traced the evolution of citizen participation in Canada from its roots in the 1930s to well into the 1970s. Dorcey and McDaniels (2001) have noted two significant waves of what they term citizen involvement. The first wave occurred in the 1970s and the second wave, which is consequential for the argument of this thesis occurred in the 1990s in Canada (especially British Columbia) and it involved discourses about sustainable development. The first wave was played out in the field of environmental policy-making and inplementation (including the realm of social issues, such as housing and urban renewal). During the 1970's, for instance, the emergence of 'the public interest lobby,' which was based on communitarian theory, called for increased public participation in policy-making and decision-making (Tester, 1992; and Williams and Matheny, 1995). These 'grassroots' organizations challenged both public and private institutions by claiming that they had become too large and removed from democratic control. This is strikingly similar to Habermas' conception of the 39 system's (economic power and administrative power) encroachment, or colonization of the Lifeworld. The remedy that they called for is analogous to Habermas' communicative action theory: that the discourse around issues dealing with the public interest should include a much wider segment of the public. These groups coalesced around diverse issues such as consumer protection, and environmental protection (Williams and Matheny, 1995). Interest groups, at the time, were critical of what they viewed as domination of the state's regulatory processes by powerful economic interest groups. They also challenged the ability of experts, especially those working for business or government, to capture the values, and the broad range of alternatives involved in environmental protection. For instance, this was a key issue in the fight against freeway construction in Vancouver (Hasson and Ley, 1994), and local groups such as the Society Promoting Environmental Conservation (SPEC; formed in 1969) were founded. SPEC is still very active, and it played a significant role in the public hearing at which Vancouver's City Council adopted the policy for a sustainable urban neighbourhood in SeFC in 1999. Local, national, and international groups remain a vibrant force to this day, and they have continued to call for broader and deeper public participation. The British Columbia Environmental Network (BCEN), for instance, lists close to 500 voluntary groups in their directory (Alexander, 1994). The BCEN group listing does not include less organized groups such as the SeFC Working Group which play a significant role in local policy formulation. Interest groups also played a significant role in establishing sustainable development on the government's agenda. Many of these groups attended the World Commission on Environment and Development hearings and made submissions to the commission when it toured Canada in the early 1980s. Following the release of the Brundtland Report (Our Common Future) in 1987 both the federal and provincial levels of government sought to define sustainable development in efforts to create policy that would foster sustainable development. This consultation concerning sustainability marks the start of the second wave (Dorcey and McDaniels, 2001). The Brundtland Report asserts that the "pursuit of sustainable development requires a political system that secures effective citizen participation in decision making" (1987, p. 65). Canada 40 responded to challenges of sustainable development by engaging in consensus-based processes to define and create sustainable development policies (Dorcey and McDaniels, 2001). For instance, the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy was formed in the late 1980s as Canada's response to the Brundtland Report and growing public awareness of environmental issues. The National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy employed consensus techniques to address the challenges of implementing sustainable development. At the provincial level this resulted in initiatives such as the Environment Council of Alberta's Future Environmental Directions for Alberta Project (1994-1995) which resulted in an educative report on implementing sustainable development which was published just before the neo-conservative government of Ralph Klein ended the mandate of the Environment Council of Alberta (ECA) in early 1995. The ECA was established during the first wave of public participation in 1970, and over its 25-year history it provided many points of public participation in environmental policy-making in Alberta. In British Columbia both the BC Round Table on the Environment and the Economy (1990) and the Commission on Resources and Environment (CORE) (1992) were set up by the provincial government as participatory, consensus-based forums to address sustainable development and the growing conflicts over resources in the province (especially forestry, mining, and hydro-electriCity) (Dorcey and McDaniels, 2001). Both of these provincial initiatives were very active in attempting to reduce the increasing resource use conflicts and in producing innovative approaches to consensus-building processes. CORE also drafted an innovative Sustainability Act, which included public participation initiatives and alternative dispute resolution systems (Dorcey and McDaniels, 2001). At the local level in Canada there have been very few municipalities that have acted on Local Agenda 21 (LA21). LA21 emerged out of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (a global follow-up to the Brundtland Report) that took place in Rio de Janeiro in June 1992. LA21 has been adopted by many European cities, especially in Germany, Norway, and the UK. The steps in the LA21 process include a call for consulting and involving the general 41 public in order to move society towards sustainable development (O'Riordan and Voisey, 1998). In Vancouver, sustainable urban development has been addressed by relying on public participation in both the Livable Region Strategic Plan (Greater Vancouver Regional District) and the CityPlan (1993 to present) process (City of Vancouver). Both of these processes relied on broad input by the public. The Livable Region Strategic Plan, for instance, was the result of a four year public and intergovernmental consultation process. CityPlan has incorporated many forms of public participation and it has resulted in broad and deep involvement by the citizens of Vancouver (McAfee, 1997; and Riera, Fletcher, and McAfee 1993). In order to consider the many methods of public participation involved in policy-making processes it is helpful to consider a list of public participation methods. Environment Canada's Monograph on Comprehensive River Basin Planning (1975) presents an early and wide-ranging list of methods that could be employed to involve the public in decision-making. According to Environment Canada's monograph the twelve major types of public participation are: 1) surveys and public opinion polls; 2) referenda; 3) voting at the ballot box in a general election; 4) public hearings; 5) advocacy planning; 6) letters (to public officials, politicians and editors); 7) representations by interest groups; 8) protests and demonstrations; 9) court actions; 10) public meetings; 11) workshops and seminars; and 12) task forces (includes advisory committees and roundtables). With the exceptions of public opinion polls, referenda, and court actions all of these methods of public participation have been employed in the SeFC case. This list generates interest in that it includes activities that many scholars may not consider as legitimate forms of public participation, such as protests and demonstrations. It is also instructive as it includes democratic public participation, like voting, which is constitutionally mandated. Furthermore, it delineates the broad array of methods of public participation that occurs away from the deliberative process such as a roundtable or advisory committee (AC). This study relies on teasing out the claims that participants made in an Advisory Group and it also takes into account this considerable array of methods of public participation. 42 Table 2.1 Typology of Public Participation+ Democratic Model* Managerialist Pluralist Participatory Purpose Fact Finding Visioning and Goal Setting Implementation Participants Broadest Public Possible Interested Citizens Interest Groups Interested Citizens Wider Public Government's Control High Control Moderate Control Low Control Engagement Information Sharing Deliberation Negotiation Influence Input Recommendations Mutual Agreement Example of Mechanisms Public Comments, Public Meetings and Hearings Non-Consensus A C ' s , Workshops, Citizen Juries Consensus A C ' s , Negotiations and Mediations + Adapted from Beierle and Cayford, 2002 *Defined below in Democratic Theory Section The Southeast False Creek (SeFC) policy-making process relied in large part on the interaction of 18 individuals on a non-consensus advisory committee. Previous studies of advisory committee (AC) experiences are very critical of these processes which bring together participants who have differing amounts of power and influence (Howlett, 1990; and Clow, 1992). Al l involved are to "cooperate" in reaching a consensus. This "cooperation" is based on assumptions of equality between participants, which does not exist, and there is denial of the fact that there will be those with less power and influence involved in the process. Keeping these very valid criticisms in mind, this thesis argues that in an era in which complexity and uncertainty about planning and resource use issues abound (global warming; soil, air, and water quality issues), the most promising way to achieve sustainability is through participatory processes. These processes ideally work to inform the whole society of the social and technological solutions that are available to overcome these challenges. The implementation of these solutions will require an informed citizenry, and supportive agencies and professionals whose legitimization is strengthened through helping to inform public policy processes. To the 43 extent that inequalities exist, and they are currently inevitable, strategies can be employed to mitigate them, as discussed earlier in reference to Forester's (1989) suggestions. Having laid out this typology, and these broad arguments about public participation and sustainable development, we now turn our attention to the promises and limitations of public participation as found in the literature. 2.4.1 The Promises of Public Participation The range of the promises (and limitations) reflects that the different interests, such as, citizens, politicians, and developers approach public participation from different perspectives. Based on the author's assesment of the literature, the positive aspects of public participation processes are many. If the participants' input is received at the outset, the range of options is widened before policy-makers and experts can narrow it (Moore, Longo, and Palmer, 1999; Williams, and Matheny, 1995). The complexity, or 'wickedness,' of many contemporary planning problems (especially, sustainable urban development), and their inter-relatedness are best dealt with by participation by a wide range of interests (Margerum, 2002a). Margerum (2002b) also points out that public participation is turned to when other more 'simplistic' solutions to pressing problems have failed. Public participation can work to reinvigorate citizenship as it provides a catalyst for leadership in civil society (participants often end up in the forefront of efforts to implement the goals which come out of the process) (Moore, Longo, and Palmer, 1999; and Wurth, 1992). Decision-makers, in both the public and private sectors, gain direction on where they should be leading the rest of society, as public participation provides them with a better understanding of the facts, values, and opinions that are involved in a policy-making process (Moore, Longo, and Palmer, 1999; National Research Council, 1996; Dorcey, 1994; Dorcey and McDaniels, 2001). Thus, well-conducted public participation results in more effective public decisions (Thomas, 1995; Dorcey, 1994). 44 Good public participation processes provide networks that can increase cooperation and collaboration between the diverse array of participants and interests in contemporary society (Booher and Innes, 2002; Neuman, 2000; and Moore, Longo, and Palmer, 1999). Collaborative processes aid participants in defining mutually acceptable goals, which leads to better implementation of their objectives (Albrechts, 2002; and Margerum, 2002). Another positive result is that it can reduce conflict and work towards achieving cost effectiveness (Dorcey and McDaniels, 2001). A satisfied and supportive public makes implementation of policies, laws, and regulations proceed more smoothly and efficiently (Dorcey, 1994; and Thomas, 1995). Public participation increases the publics' trust in institutions (Dorcey and McDaniels, 2001) and results in a stronger democracy (Thomas, 1995). Grengs (2002) cites the ability of citizen participation to keep public agencies in line with citizen's expectations (in this case a public transit authority in Los Angeles that Grengs found rife with corruption and poor decision-making). Public participation can, arguably, provide societal scrutiny of technology, help to enhance citizen's scientific and technological education, legitimate decisions, and provide protection from corruption and ineptitude (Wurth, 1992). Rosenbaum, for instance, cites a situation where citizens, members of the Centre for Law in the Public Interest, gathered evidence that a nuclear plant in California was being located on a fault line (Dabelko and Weinberg, 1984). Wurth argues, furthermore, "not only for participation in technology but also for participation instead of technology" (Wurth, 1992). He notes the example of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania where effective public participation eliminated the technological 'fix' of a solid waste incinerator, and replaced it with "an energized population dedicated to participation in recycling " (Wurth, 1992). This kind of broad public scrutiny of technological solutions is central to sustainable urban development where behavioural solutions are often more sustainable than changes in technology. For instance, eliminating pesticide and herbicide use through composting and other methods of organic gardening can achieve ecological sustainability in a cheaper, safer, more cost effective way than newly emerging and untested genetically engineered 'solutions.' This kind of behavioural 45 solution also creates synergy as it reduces the amount of organic waste that goes to the landfill, and it can also help to encourage urban agriculture. The significant point is that increased interaction and information sharing can generate new, synergistic solutions to pressing ecological, social, and economic problems (Albrechts, 2002; and Margerum, 2002). Other examples of these types of solutions are dealt with in the chapter on sustainable urban development. Well-run public participation processes, with sufficient resources available (human, intellectual, and material resources), can help build: communities, community capacity (see the social sustainability section in Chapter 3), trust, and shared definitions and understandings (Neuman, 2002). However, there are also significant drawbacks to public participation. 2.4.2 The Limitations of Public Participation The negative aspects, or problems associated with public participation are also numerous according to the literature. On the one hand, good public participation processes can raise expectations within the City, community, or neighbourhood that all issues will be dealt with in this manner (Moore, Longo, and Palmer, 1999). Furthermore, if the results of well organized and run public participation processes remain as words in a policy document, or plan and are not implemented the result will be cynicism on the part of the public (Moore, Longo, and Palmer, 1999). On the other hand, poor public participation processes can result in a dissatisfied and even recalcitrant public (Moore, Longo, and Palmer, 1999). Public participation can also result in ineffectual decisions and lead to a weakened democracy (Moore, Longo, and Palmer, 1999). Dorcey and McDaniels (2001) have pointed out that public participation processes can: delay policy or development as they take too much time and are costly; rely on and give too much voice to the interests of active publics; be viewed by elected officials as usurping their role; and technical analysts have been severely critical of the data, methods, and conclusions of many public participation processes. Others argue that providing forums for public deliberation does not ensure acceptable outcomes, and will not resolve deeply entrenched conflicts (Margerum, 46 2002). A single process focused on a workable agreement is unlikely to resolve issues that arise from the historic context, such as a lack of constructive relationships, mistrust, and deeply entrenched conflict (Albrechts, 2002). Another critique of public participation processes is that they can divert progressive energies from fighting for substantive policy change into small-scale voluntary activities (Sharp, 2002). This is similar to the 'window dressing' critique of public participation that is often raised by those who have had negative experiences with public consultation. A public agency is likely well-advised to not engage in public participation if there are not going to be substantive outcomes from the process. Despite these many drawbacks to both poorly organized, and well organized public participation processes, it remains as one of the few methods for grappling with large, complex, uncertain problems such as those involved in planning for sustainable urban development. On the whole, this thesis argues that when set in a context of a democratic system (such as the one in Canada, although it may be, arguably weakened), then the supposed costs of increased public participation do not outweigh its benefits. Increased communicative participation will likely only strengthen democracy, especially local democracy. This will be the case even if all that increased communicative participation achieves is to delegate more authority to a limited set of actors within a policy community (see section 2.6). 2.5 Democratic Theory and Communicative Participation There are various approaches to democratic theory. Some argue that democracy is essentially a contested term, which is open to numerous interpretations (McLaverty, 2002). For instance, the use of the terms representative, constitutional, liberal, participatory, social, and deliberative democracy speaks to the multiple types or models of democracy that have been discussed in democratic theory. Wintrop (2000) asserts that these democratic models should be replaced with a threefold classification of democratic theory as ideological, public philosophic, 47 and Utopian. Wintrop (2000, p.2) defines ideological democratic theory as a one that conceives of contemporary democracy in formal or empirical terms as the existing institutional framework and practices "irrespective of the standards expressed in or the social effects of these institutions and procedures"(a conservative approach). Wintrop (2000) applies the term public philosophic to democratic theory as a 'realist' mean between ideological and Utopian democratic theory, one that is normative, but takes into account the existing institutional framework, and context (a modified pluralist approach). The Utopian approach is defined by Wintrop (2000) as one that explicitly or implicitly associates democracy with socialist or other egalitarian ends, which require significant social change and transformation (a radical approach). This array of approaches to democratic theory is intended as a sample of the many models arrived at by democratic theorists. Wintrop's threefold classification is reflected, somewhat, in Beierle and Cayford's (2002) concepts of managerialist (ideological), pluralist (public philosophic), and participatory (utopian) democracy. In the mangerialist model government administrators and representatives, or experts, are left to define the 'public good' and entrusted to create and implement policies based upon their appraisal of the public interest, which is often based on notions of "the greatest good for the greatest number for the longest time" (Beierle and Cayford, 2002, p.2). Beierle and Cayford (2002) note that managerialism still has many adherents, and surfaces in contemporary policy-making in the form of risk assessment and cost benefit analyses. Adherents of the managerialist approach are concerned that the 'average' members of the public lack the knowledge and experience to be responsible actors in decision-making processes. The pluralist approach arose (from the 1930s on) from the tension that exists between expert management and democratic accountability (Beierle and Cayford, 2002). For proponents of the pluralist approach the 'public good' is contingent and is to be debated, negotiated, and defined by a wide plurality of interests (Beierle and Cayford, 2002) (both individuals and interest groups). Those who adhere to the pluralist approach view the government's role as one of arbitration between competing interests, rather than as an elected manager doling out the 'public good' based on expert advice (Dorcey, 2002). During the 1960s and 1970s, environmental, 48 consumer protection, and access to information laws were passed in many liberal democracies that enshrined pluralism and opened up access to greater participation by interest groups and the interested public, to both government information and decision-making processes (Beierle and Cay ford, 2002). It is important to note the this opening up did not occur by the good graces of the governments of the time; the increased access was struggled for by groups and individuals in the civil rights, peace, consumer protection, and emerging environmental movements. Recently, the pluralist approach has been challenged by a more participatory approach. Beierle and Cayford (2002) note that the participatory (or 'populist') approach stresses the importance of public participation to increase community capacity (strong networks of civic-minded groups and individuals -see section 3.2.2). Participatory democracy is similar to pluralism, in that it places importance on the interaction between different interests, interaction which can often be fraught with adversity (Beierle and Cayford, 2002). Those who take a participatory approach assert that participation is needed to improve decision-making and implementation. However, adherents to the participatory approach assert that the main purpose of interaction between different interests is to arrive at mutually agreed upon parameters of the 'public good,' or public interest by direct participation in the decision-making process (Dorcey, 2002). The participatory approach highlights the importance of more consensual processes, rather than simply advocating for interests to compete amongst each other, with the dominant actors often framing the public interest (Beierle and Cayford, 2002). The communicative participation argued for in this thesis falls mostly into the participatory approach, however, it allows for some symbiosis amongst the other two competing approaches (managerialist and pluralist). An area of tension exists between communicative participation and representation. Dorcey and McDaniels (2001), for instance, have pointed out that communicative participation processes can be viewed by elected representatives as usurping their role. Selman and Parker (1999) argue that methods that splice communicative participation and representative (mangerialist and pluralist) methods should be experimented with. They assert that this will 49 increase the symbiosis between the elected 'top' and the 'bottom.' During the SeFC policy-making process, for instance, attempts were made early on in the process to have a Vancouver City Councillor sit on the Advisory Group. It is also important to note that on average, in Canada, local representatives are elected by 40% of eligible voters; compared to 75% for federal and provincial representatives (Higgins, 1986). Thus the level of government which is closest to the people geographically is furthest from the people in terms of electoral turnout, representation, and, most often, involvement by citizens. Regarding this tension between representative methods, and communicative participation. Knight, Chigudu and Tandon (2002) argue that participation should be based on equal rights and justice, and ought to be part of a governing system, which is responsive and inclusive. Furthermore, Knight, Chigudu and Tandon (2002, p.78) assert that participation "means being heard and consulted on a regular and continuing basis, not merely at election time. It means more than a vote; it means involvement in decision-[making] and policy-making with public agencies and officials." Thus, those who advocate for a participatory approach would argue that communicative participation actually improves, and enhances the capacity of representatives to represent the electorate. The assertion that communicative participation can improve representative methods of democracy must be tempered somewhat in that it should not arbitrarily replace representative modes of democracy. Communicative participation methods and mechanisms should work in a symbiotic manner with other democratic institutions (parliaments, legislative assemblies, Councils, and courts). Beierle and Cayford (2002, p.24), for example, point out that nearly 60% of the public participation case studies that they coded for socioeconomic representativeness (63 cases) were not at all representative of the wider public. Communicative participation is based on Habermas' communicative action theory, and aspects of public participation theory. Some participatory democratic theorists, of the 'new' left, have drawn on Habermas' communicative action and discourse ethics theory to formulate 50 arguments for more participatory democracy (e.g. Cunningham, 1987; Ingram, 1993; and Plotke, 1989). For instance, Ingram (1993) notes that: For Habermas, the distinct advantage of a mass democratic system organized along party lines resides precisely in its capacity to provide associative bases that transcend economic, ethnic, and Regional boundaries. To offset the disadvantages of the party system -its tendency, as an extension of the government, to manipulate public opinion and obscure social antagonism behind diluted programs -he looks to the spontaneous proliferation of informal, unincorporated, grass-roots associations, (p. 316) The role of these grass-roots associations or urban interest groups is discussed below (see section 2.6.3). This reading of Habermas places him in the social democracy branch of 'new' left scholars. Ingram (1993, p. 316) concludes that a more participatory form of democracy, based on communicative participation and discourse ethics, "must consist of both participatory organizations, comprising non-occupational public spheres and economic units, and formally organized mass party organizations and state bureaucracies." Some democratic theorists, for example Wintrop (2000), have derided participatory, or what he terms as Utopian, democratic theorists for their overly normative approach to democracy. However, it is germane to point out that a conservative approach to democratic theory would have likely left most human societies in the grip of religious absolutism and monarchical forms of government. The spirit of democratic theory, and democracy has long been normative. In this spirit, Knight, Chigudu and Tandon (2002) draw on a study of the input of close to 10,000 participants in processes conducted in 47 commonwealth countries. Based on their analysis, Knight, Chigudu and Tandon (2002) see a growing consenus that three elements are needed to strengthen democracy: a healthy, well functioning state government working in concert with a vibrant and active civil society; an increased, more participatory role for citizens (and residents of each state -as not all those residing in a nation state are citizens); and a 'deepened' democracy and strengthened democratic culture (additional comment is italicized). Thus, one could argue that democracy is an ideal, similar to justice. Humans view democracy as if 51 it were a summit in the mist, once we arrive at the 'summit' we are amazed to see another higher 'summit' in the distance, and, hopefully, we set off to attempt to scale its heights. 2.6 The Policy Community Policy community theory as outlined by Howlett and Ramesh (1995), and Pross (1992) provides concepts for classifying institutions and groups that are involved in a particular sector of governance. Pross (1992) defines a policy community as "that part of a political system that has acquired a dominant voice in determining government decisions in a field of public activity." According to Howlett and Ramesh (1995) a policy community is made up of actors and potential actors from society who hold a common policy focus and a specific knowledge base. This contrasts to the concept of a 'policy network' which is the linking up within a policy community of those with some material interest (or immaterial interest as based on Skollerhorn, discussed below). Thus the broad array of interests involved in the SeFC process would be well represented by those representatives who participated in the two main public hearings on the SeFC model sustainable community. Policy networks, on the other hand would include the developer's network, and the activist's network (or networks) that formed around the policy-making process for SeFC. Pross (1992) notes that the policy community is made up of government agencies, interest groups, media personnel, and individuals (including academics) who share an interest in a particular policy field and seek to have influence in it. It is important to note that in the current era academics can appear in any of these groupings. As Pross (1992) points out, though these groups and individuals are part of the same policy community, they do not necessarily share the same approach to policy. In the case of SeFC, for instance, developers and environmentalists are both part of the sustainable urban development policy community, and despite some overlap, they do not share a common approach regarding the substantive policy issue. 52 2.6.1 Interest Groups Skollerhorn's (1998) interpretation of Habermas' theories postulates that there are three possible political cultures in the formulation of sustainable urban development policy: anthropocentric material (largely characterized by utilitarian notions of the material effects of actions in an objective reality); anthropocentric immaterial (community and neighbourhood organizations, cooperative economic enterprises etc.); and ecocentric immaterial (groups that work to extend moral obligation to include other species, and their habitats -ecological or environmental groups). These three broad classifications help to frame a taxonomy of the groups and individuals involved in participatory processes such as the one that took place regarding SeFC. Gardner (1991) has classified environmental non-governmental organisations (ENGOs) by referring to two types: 1) advocacy groups; and 2) Stewardship Groups. She extends the analysis of ENGO's by pointing out that these groups play three roles. Firstly, advocacy groups play an advocacy role in an effort to increase the accountability of government by convincing it to implement and enforce existing environmental programs, regulations, and legislation. Advocacy groups also endeavour to: incorporate ecological principles in the planning process; encourage the government to pass and implement new environmental legislation; and include ecological issues in decision-making (Gardner, 1991). Secondly, Stewardship Groups play a role that supplements governmental, or agency activities. Gardner (1991) suggests that Stewardship Groups primarily fulfill this supplemental role by: attending to the recreational and social needs of their membership; increasing or providing environmental conservation through 'voluntary environmental stewardship' (such as, operating ecological education centres or parks); and through 'hands on' project work (for example, stream or habitat rehabilitation). Thirdly, both advocacy groups and Stewardship Groups can play a transformative role through protest, education, and modeling that seeks to change the structure of government and society (Gardner, 1991). This typology will be drawn upon and adapted as the SeFC process included both types 53 of ENGO's, or ecocentric immaterial groups. The SeFC Working Group, for instance, is an advocacy group that played both advocacy and transformative roles. The Friends of False Creek, on the other hand, is a Stewardship Group that only peripherally played an advocacy role, and it places most of its efforts into habitat restoration, and water quality sampling in False Creek. The SeFC Working Group also attempted to transform the process around development in SeFC by increasing communicative participation, conducting public education in partnership with a local college, and taking part in protests (over the loss of a significant heritage anchor, the Canron building, and over social justice issues). 2.6.2 The Policy Cycle Model Howlett and Ramesh (1995) delineate a policy cycle model that sets out five categories: 1) agenda setting (problem recognition); 2) policy formulation (proposal of solutions); 3) decision-making (choice of solutions); 4) policy implementation (operationalizing the solutions); and 5) policy evaluation (monitoring results). This policy cycle model will be modified to help break down the complex policy-making process into discrete sub-processes. This case study only deals with the cycle model up to the decision-making stage. However, the policy for a sustainable urban development will be evaluated on the basis of indicators drawn from the literature and other precedents (Roseland et al., 1998; and Sheltair, 1998). Thus the fifth category will also be addressed in this study. 2.6.3 The Role of Urban Interest Groups Vancouver's past development is an intriguing story with many urban interest groups playing significant roles. Hasson and Ley (1994) have traced the development of neighbourhood organizations and they note that these organizations have a significant impact on the 54 development and redevelopment of urban areas. In Vancouver local community groups formed and successfully dealt with many pressing and contentious community issues. The inner City of Vancouver, for instance, would have a much different development history if it were not for the successful intervention of several groups. Groups such as the Strathcona Property Owners' and Tenants' Association capably fended off the development of a freeway to downtown Vancouver in the 1960s (Hasson and Ley, 1994). As a result, the built form in the central core of the City has developed into one of the most livable downtown areas in North America (Hardwick, 1994). The Downtown Eastside Resident Association (DERA) formed in 1973, and it continues to be relatively successful in maintaining the fabric of community in its area despite increasing incursion, and gentrification by development interests. Currently, both social justice groups: such as the Tenants Rights Action Coalition (TRAC); and ecological groups: Friends of False Creek, for instance; are part of the coalition of groups and individuals that make up the broad coalition of individuals and groups involved in the SeFC Working Group. Although it is often left as implicit, other interest groups in urban development have formed around material interests: trade unions, and business and development interests (Higgins, 1986). As was noted above corporate business, development, and real estate interests have long played a role in the development of Vancouver (Gutstein, 1975). Regarding the redevelopment of SeFC, for example, the development interests were represented by the hiring of 'Concord Pacific's' development consultant, a consultant with strong ties to the Hong Kong-based developer, L i Ka-shing. These interest groups were also well represented on the SeFC Advisory Group by: a representative of the Urban Development Institute; several commercial and residential real estate representatives; and private landowners in the area. The dominance of these interests is highlighted by the fact that no union representation was included on the SeFC Advisory Group. In Vancouver, these union interests would be represented by the Vancouver Labour District Council (VDLC). Hasson and Ley (1994) note that DERA has strong ties to unions with its past directors holding office in local trade unions. DERA was peripherally involved through the SeFC Working Group. These types of groups are reflected in Skollerhorn's 55 typology of anthropocentric material, anthropocentric immaterial, and ecocentric immaterial interest groups (see beginning of section 2.5.1). 2.7 Local Political Economy Forester (1989) focuses part of his attention regarding certain planning contexts on power, hegemony, and political economy. He advocates communicative action to democratize planning processes in response to a preponderance of economic and administrative power. He argues that political economic and structural analysis, or critical planning theory can "set the stage for an empirical political analysis that exposes the subtle ways in which a given structure of state and productive relations function: (1) to perpetuate itself while it seeks to extend its power; (2) to exclude particular groups systematically from decision-making processes that effect their lives; (3) to promote the political and moral illusion that science and technology, through professionals and experts, can solve political problems; and so (4) to restrict public political argument, participation, and mobilization regarding a broad range of public welfare-oriented policy alternatives that are incompatible with existing patterns of ownership, wealth, and power" (Forester, 1989, p. 141). Critical planning theory based on political economy and structural analysis can tease out the communicative distortions that economic and administrative power can create. Forester (1989) notes that some of these communicative distortions are avoidable and surmountable. Others, on the other hand, are so imbedded in the current political economic structure that they are unavoidable (such as imperfect information). Regarding avoidable communicative distortions, which Forester maintains are artificial, they include: "the self-serving legitimation of great inequalities of income and wealth; the consumer ideologies inherited from and generated by the way capitalist productive relations are organized; the manipulation of public ignorance in defense of professional power; and the stultifying racial, ethnic, and sexual type-casting to which we are all subjected daily" (1989, p. 140). While these are not only local phenomena, they most certainly apply to the local context in Vancouver, and other metropolitan 56 areas. Critical planning theory can also be employed to sketch out the manner in which these communicative distortions can lead society away from sustainability (economic, social, and ecological). Cogent political economic analysis lays out the structural relationships between the ownership of the means of production (both economic and cultural) and the effects that these have on policy-making and decision-making in the democratic political realm. Locally, Gutstein (1975) did an extensive political economic analysis of Vancouver in which he outlines the explicit and implicit links between the business and development interests and those governing at City Hall in Vancouver. For instance, Gutstein notes how massive areas of Vancouver's West End were redeveloped along the lines developers desired with little input from, or concern for the existing neighbourhood. The political economic framework that Gutstein applied (charting out the links between and amongst development corporations and business interests; and the links with the dominant political and administrative system) is adopted to provide an analysis of the communicative distortions that occurred in the SeFC planning and policy-making process. Wallace and Shields (Clement et al., 1997) argue that the literature on the new Canadian political economy cannot ignore the new social movements, which they typify as post-materialist or postmodern. They argue, somewhat dogmatically, that those who make up these movements are urban professionals who bear no direct 'costs' by advocating a reduction in resource use and extraction in the distant 'hinterlands' which serve the City. This political economic analysis misses the fact that cities are increasingly the site of the consumption of these resources, and that ecological activism in these urban areas is only one strategy employed to address these issues. They also gloss over the fact that there are rural people who are also part of these movements (Gardner, 1991). However, they do point out the negative effects of this rampant resource use (poor air and water quality). Furthermore, many in the environmental movement are, or were either directly, or indirectly involved in some way with resource extraction activities. Wallace and Shields (Clement et al., 1997) point out that Canadian political economy would be strengthened by addressing issues of sustainability and environmental 57 concerns. These are issues that most working on political economy in Canada have ignored, which is quite amazing given the prominence of ecological debates surrounding resource extraction and use. This thesis will add to the Canadian political economy literature by using the conceptual tools which it provides (outlining who owns the means of production and how their power influences administrative power) to analyze the ways in which economic interests may distort communicative participation to achieve their narrow interests of capital accumulation. This approach is also consistent with Habermasian theory as any consideration of the system and the 'lifeworld' must empirically lay out the structure of the subsystems through an analysis of primary and secondary sources and newspaper sources. 2.8 Power and Ideology This section briefly discusses various approaches to power: the neo-liberal, or neo-conservative approach; the neo-pluralist and neo-Marxist approaches. Most social sustainability literature argues for equity between the members of society. The neo-Marxist approach of this thesis argues for more than this, for if society as a whole is to reduce its material throughputs or consumption, then a relative equality of outcome should be achieved for all of the participants in society (including those who are increasingly marginalized by the global economy)(Agyeman and Evans, 2002). Truly participatory, consensus-based processes may provide a means to begin the structural change that can work towards this relative equality of outcome. Although neo-pluralists would also advocate for communicative participation, consensus-based participatory processes are consistent with the neo-Marxist approach of Habermas (Dunleavy and OTeary, 1987) and communicative action theory (Brand, 1990). Firstly, let us turn our attention towards the neo-liberal, or neo-conservative approach which is otherwise known as either rational choice or public choice theory. 58 2.8.1 The Neo-Liberal, or Neo-Conservative Approach This approach is based on neo-classical economics, and methodological individualism. The basic assumption of rational choice theory is that, just as in neo-classical economics, people are individual utility maximizers who vote on the basis of their own individual interests. Those who advocate this approach tend, for the most part, although there are exceptions, to be located to the right on a right to left continuum (Dunleavy and OTeary, 1987). This approach arose out of the 'new right' politics which emerged in the 1980's in the form of Thatcherism and Reganomics. Adherents to this approach generally argue for a much more reduced role for government. Their basic assumption is that a small, and minimal government will allow individual people the freedom to exercise their choices in both the marketplace and in representative politics through the ballot box. In this model politicians seeking re-election adopt policies that will work to keep them in power (Dyck, 1993). Logical positivism, game theory, and the reduction of macro-political phenomena to individual preferences provide guides for this approach (Dunleavy and OTeary, 1987). This approach will only be cursorily discussed as it does not call for increased participation by citizens, except for calls for referenda and recall of politicians who do not deliver on their stated policy initiatives. The ascendancy of this approach in contemporary politics and analysis needs to be pointed out, as it provides the counter to increased communicative participation by groups of citizens against which a dialectical discussion or struggle can occur. 2.8.2 The Neo-Pluralist Approach This approach emerged from pluralism, which was the dominant approach in political science for most of the post World War II era. Neo-pluralism arose in response to valid criticisms about pluralism (based on the assumption that everyone in a representative liberal democracy has an equal opportunity for political participation (Dyck, 1993) raised by neo-Marxists, and elite theorists that pluralism ignored the increasing power of corporate and business interests. Also, a 59 series of events beset many liberal democratic states in the 1960s (race riots, the anti-Vietnam War protests, the ecological movement, and the May 1968 protests in France) that challenged the basic institutions of pluralism. Dunleavy and OTeary note that neo-pluralists "seek to demonstrate the irrelevance of contemporary socialism, the Utopian deceptions of ecological rejections of modernity, and the anachronisms of the new right attempts to turn the clock back to a simpler world of entrepreneurial firms and a nightwatchman state" (1987, p. 272). Neo-pluralism draws from four primary intellectual traditions: 'unorthodox' economics; political science which takes into account the limitations that economic systems create for collective decision-making; policy analysis; and systems theory (Dunleavy and O'leary, 1987). 'Unorthodox' economics focuses on the large modern corporation and the extended state, applies a basically literary presentation (versus an array of complex statistical information and mathematical formula), and draws on a broader range of sources which are beyond conventional neo-classical economics. The political science perspective is best exemplified by Dahl's shift from pluralism to neo-pluralism as demonstrated by his increasing attention to the manner in which capitalist corporations impair democratic processes. Policy analysis is a full-fledged enterprise with many research institutes (Friedmann, 1987). Dunleavy and OTeary point out that neo-pluralist policy analysis "has moved towards a new consensus which rejects technocratic modes of decision-making but nonetheless reasserts the importance and legitimacy of rationality considerations across almost all applied public policy areas" (1987, p. 283). Neo-pluralism has drawn on the sociological systems theory of Talcott Parsons to trace out the notion that increasing complexity results in an increasing differentiation in the systems and subsystems of society and the state. This is the 'novel' modernization focus of neo-pluralism. Interestingly, neo-pluralists such as Luhmann and Etzioni have worked out detailed suggestions for improving collective, public policy-making and decision-making processes. Etzioni, for instance, envisioned an 'active society' in which full and well informed public discourse occurs in a symbiotic relationship with technocratic planners in full, broad, and sophisticated policy making processes (Dunleavy and OTeary, 1987). As a whole neo-pluralists 60 argue that in an era when the extended state regulates more areas of people's lives rationalized communicative participation is a prerequisite for effective policy and it guards against policy distortion. 2.8.3 The Neo-Marxist Approach There is considerable overlap between the neo-pluralist approach and the neo-Marxist approach, at least in terms of the prescriptive call for more well-informed communicative participation. The reasons for this call for communicative participation, however, are quite different. Neo-pluralists still have remnants of classical pluralism in their approach. While they assume that the power of modern corporations and the administrative state are forces to be reckoned with, they still view power as being plural or diffused throughout these two systems and society as a whole. Neo-Marxists, however, emphasize the concentration of power in fewer hands in both the economic and administrative systems, power which serves to ensure capital accumulation by the corporate elite (Habermas, 1984; Brand, 1990; Dunleavy and OTeary, 1987; and Dyck, 1993). Habermas draws somewhat on strains of neo-Marxist thought, and he draws on Weber's system theory as well. Some have missed this concern with power in Habermas' writings, while others have ignored his communicative action theory which calls for consensus-based communicative participation. Like the neo-pluralists Habermas also drew on Parson's systems theory to provide an explanation of the system's (economic and administrative) colonization of the 'lifeworld'. Dyck (1993) succinctly sums up neo-Marxism in six basic points: 1) the corporate elite largely determines the shape of public policies which are designed to continue and extend their capital accumulation; 2) the corporate elite (or bourgeoisie) provide personnel for public offices and funds for political parties, they shape societal values (through control of the media) and they fund and organize pressure groups; 3) the liberal democratic state remains dependent on the capitalist system for the provision of jobs and economic growth; 4) intermediary classes (the 61 petite bourgeoisie, and the new middle class) as well as the working class must be accommodated to some degree by policies that ensure the legitimation of the capitalist system without unduly eroding the ability for capital accumulation; 5) the government may have to resort to coercion if the intermediary classes and working classes are not satisfied with this legitimation; and 6) modern states themselves must contend with the power of transnational and multi-national corporations. Let us now consider how a neo-Marxist approach could apply to Vancouver. Given that the 'City-state' of Vancouver has been governed by a 'so-called' non-party -the Non-partisan Association (NPA)- for 56 of the 70 years of the NPA's existence exemplifies the first two points of Dyck's summation of neo-Marxism. The NPA is funded by the corporate elite, has drawn representatives for Council from this elite, and is heavily influenced by the many pressure groups that have formed around business and development interests in Vancouver. For example, the Urban Development Institute, the Vancouver Board of Trade, and the Vancouver Downtown Business Association are just a few of the corporate elite's pressure groups who work to maintain the ascendancy of the corporate elite's interests. Many jobs in urban areas remain dependent on development (both residential and commercial), and this is certainly the case in Vancouver. Working class and other intermediary classes have been accommodated in Vancouver's governance system through negotiations and agreements with unions, and the provision of a marginal amount of affordable housing in new development (officially set at 20%, in reality approximately 11%, personal communication, February, 1998) (these intermediary classes and the working class are likely eroding in this era of dis-employment due to government and corporate 'downsizing'). Police 'security' crackdowns during many recent peaceful political protests in Vancouver are indicative of Vancouver's willingness to use coercion. Local government in Vancouver has to contend with novel, powerful, external forces, as there are many multi-national and transnational firms involved in business and development in Vancouver. Local corporate elites no longer have a monopoly on development in Vancouver. 62 Hasson and Ley point out that "for the neo-Marxist literature, the very existence of community and consumption-based organizations, which fail to make connections with class-based organizations, presents some serious theoretical and normative problems" (1994, p. 8). These serious theoretical and normative difficulties exist, however, through coalition building, as was evident during the protests in Seattle and local protests regarding 'free' trade, these groups are learning about their shared class identity (even if it means being in a set of classes which is defined by not being part of the corporate elite class). Hasson and Ley (1994, p. 9) also note that Castells identified three types of struggles in which local community groups are involved: 1) conflicts which revolve around residents' quality of life (use value) versus the corporate elite's quest for profits (exchange value); 2) conflict over cultural values when pre-existing, unique local, ethnic, and historical traditions come up against standardized values which are imposed from above; and 3) friction regarding participation, where people protest the state's monopoly over decision-making, planning, and the pattern of urban life. The latter is very significant, as it has been primarily through protest and resistance that increased and more communicative participation has come to exist. Even if these urban movements may have a non-class orientation, their appearance is grounded in class structure. They may also share significant overlapping membership with groups with a clear class orientation. This is the case with DERA, for instance, which engages in struggles over consumption issues, the provision of affordable housing, and has leadership which overlaps with union membership. Many individual members of the SeFC Working Group, though by no means the majority, also have an explicit affinity or indentification with the working class. Castells (in Hasson and Ley), theorized that the rise of the new social movements was a reaction to the shaping of the social and spatial forms of the City by "dominant actors -capitalists, technocrats, and bureaucrats- who operate through specific institutions and mechanisms of the capitalist mode of production, the modes of industrial and information development, and state power" (1994, p. 11). Even though Castells took this structural view based on the dominant political, economic, and cultural structures he remains open to the role of 63 social agents in organizing and coordinating these movements. Thus, although neo-Marxism remains wedded to methodological holism (methods based on classes of people and the structural relations between these classes), as does classical Marxism, it does take the role played by individuals in collective action into account. John Friedmann (1987) traces the tradition of social mobilization in his impressive survey of planning theory and thought Planning in the Public Domain: From Knowledge to Action. He notes social mobilization's roots from the mutually antagonistic relationship between two movements on the left: the Marxists; and the Utopians and anarchists. This thesis focuses on the Marxist, or neo-Marxist, approach where a confrontational mode of politics "emphasizes political struggle as necessary to transform existing relations of power and create a new order that is not based on the exploitation of labour and the alienation of [people] from what is distinctively human" (Friedmann, 1987, pp. 83-84). This is central to struggles over resource allocation in urban areas. It also points to methods that are known in the negotiation literature as a better alternative to negotiated agreement (BATNA) where people engage in protests or strikes when their concerns and interests are not being dealt with at the bargaining or negotiating table (Fisher and Ury, 1991). These types of protests were used in several instances in the SeFC process. The main locus of classic Marxist thought is freedom from oppression and scarcity (Dunleavy and OTeary, 1987). A key question for neo-Marxists is: Can freedom be achieved democratically within the framework of the liberal democratic state? Habermas' work on communicative action argues for communicative participation and subsequent action to resist the colonization of the Tifeworld' by the economic system and the administrative state (Brand, 1990; and Habermas, 1984). This scope for democratic resistance fits in well with five key questions that Friedmann (1987, p. 84) raises for the social mobilization approach to address: 1) What is the proper role of community organizers, and the leaders of social mobilization movements? If freedom from oppression is the ideological goal, organizers should follow thoroughly democratic procedures which include the full communicative participation of 64 everyone in collective decisions, tolerance for open dissent, and non-manipulative methods for organizing group action. 2) How can the poor, disenfranchised, and those who have never had effective power empower themselves to gain freedom from oppression? 3) How can the commitment to a new life in struggle that leads to community be maintained when only partial and provisional gains are made in the conflict with the dominant capitalist paradigm? 4) What should be the basic strategies to follow? What, if any, role should be given to violence, to the timing and duration of actions ('long marches'), and what specific actions should be engaged in (strikes, demonstrations, street theatre, terrorism, non-cooperation, the setting up of alternative communities)? 5) What should be the characteristics of the 'good society,' the social ideal to be realized in practice, now or in the future? What priority should be assigned to various goals, such as, a non-hierarchical and inclusive social order, the practice of self-reliance, voluntary cooperation, dialogic practices, and a radical leveling of the social hierarchy? Although Friedmann (1987) places Habermas' theory in the social mobilization area of planning thought, as we have seen above, he does not view the theory of communicative action as being capable of action. One can argue that this depends on context, for if there is scope for democratic resistance that can lead towards a non-hierarchical and inclusive social order existant within our western democracies, especially at the local level, then communicative participation provides promising, non-violent means to achieve this end. However, in states where there is no room for 65 democratic resistance and change other more violent means may be necessary, although non-violent modes of protest, and non-cooperation are likely even more effective in these states. As to Friedmann's second question, the relative success of Porto Alegre's participatory budget under the participatory, and decentralized government of the Worker's Party shows that even in areas with little previous democratic experience, impoverished people can be very involved in successfully engaging in communicative participation to work with their leadership to govern themselves (Abers in Douglas and Friedmann, 1998). Regarding Friedmann's first question many groups involved in the new social movements organize themselves in an inclusive, participatory manner. The SeFC Working Group, for instance, has put these modes of decision-making into its mission statement, and it has functioned in this manner over the course of its existence. The logic for pursuing a neo-Marxist approach is evident from both an empirical and normative standpoint. Empirically, political economic analysis of contemporary urban development will reveal the primacy of business and development interests (Gutstein, 1975; Higgins, 1986; and Alexander, 2000). Normatively, social sustainability, in urban areas especially, will require a distribution of benefits and costs that will not exacerbate the current frightening drift to a bifurcation between those with more than enough income and material well-being, and those with little or no income an