Changing the Focus: Viewing Design-Led Events within Collaborative Planning

Husam AlWaer (Lead / Corresponding author), Ian Cooper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
42 Downloads (Pure)


Design-led planning events typically seek to involve stakeholders in collaborative decision-making about their built environment. In the literature, such events are often treated as one-off or standalone. In this paper, which draws on a survey of the experience of stakeholders involved in them, design-led events are seen in the context of, and in relation to, the collaborative planning process as a whole. Such events are portrayed as being critically affected by how they are instigated; how they are framed; how they are conducted; and, just as importantly, how they are implemented. Three separable strands of activity in collaborative planning processes are identified—design, stakeholder management, and event facilitation—along with the roles played in each of those by those responsible for initiating and then maintaining the engagement and enrolment of participating stakeholder groups in collaborative decision-making. Based on the captured experience of those who have participated in them, the value of design-led events is portrayed not as standing alone but as being crucially dependent on (a) prior decisions made long before any participants gather to engage in them and (b) subsequent decisions made long after the participants have departed. The originality of this paper lies in a desire to begin to construct an empirical base that can be employed for discussing and recommending improvements to collaborative planning processes. The three strands of activity identified by event participants—design, stakeholder management, and facilitation—may individually be relatively weak. But their contributions to collaborative planning can be strengthened by being bound tightly together into a more integrated and coherent whole.
Original languageEnglish
Article number3365
Pages (from-to)1-24
Number of pages24
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 21 Apr 2020


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