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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Citizen participation in slected planning programs : a case study of New Westminster Firmalino, Tito Castro

Abstract

This thesis investigates citizen participation in the planning process in a Canadian city. The city selected for this research is New Westminster. It was chosen principally because of its relatively small size, its accessibility to the researcher, and the researcher’s familiarity with the conditions therein. The study is focussed on two aspects of citizen participation. The first aspect deals with the factors that motivate citizens to participate actively in government affairs. It is hypothesized that possession of wealth and high social status and the intense feeling of need for a project or service are motivational forces that can influence the citizen toward greater or more active participation. The second aspect concerns the style and scope of participation which are analyzed along the three levels of choice in the planning process, described by Paul Davldoff and Thomas A. Reiner in their article which appeared in the Journal of the American Institute of Planners in May, 1962. These three levels of choice are: (1) determination of goals or ends, (2) selection of alternatives to achieve the desired ends, and (3) effectuation. The method used in this study is a combination of the case study approach and a survey of selected leaders and citizens on welfare. The period reviewed covered about a decade, from 1957 to 1967. The background of two of the case studies started as early as 1952. The three case studies involved the following problems: (1) the downtown parking ramp. (2) the Queensborough drainage and sewage disposal problem, and (3) the redevelopment of Area 4. The findings show that the citizens most active in contacting City officials for the support or implementation of projects were generally the property owners, businessmen, and leaders of private organizations. The intense feeling of need, for the project was indicated by the sustained, effort and persistent demand of the leaders of certain associations for the implementation of such project over a long period of time. The pattern of citizen participation in the affairs of the City was mostly through, groups and organizations. These organizations aggregated the demands of like-minded citizens who discussed problems in meetings and arrived at a common understanding as to what course to take. The case studies show that the citizens actively participated in all stages of the planning process of the programs in which they were involved.

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