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Neighbourhood planning, conflict and urban development in London
This exploratory project investigates whether Neighbourhood Planning (as introduced by the UK Localism Act 2011) has the potential to bring about more inclusive forms of public participation in, and engagement with, planning (and thus potentially more progressive and socially equitable forms of urban development), or on the contrary, to stir up social conflict. Past research has shown that formal participatory channels often tend to be mobilized and dominated by articulate, educated and wealthy individuals and social groups, who may take a defensive attitude to urban development. It is therefore important to assess whether the composition of the groups involved in Neighbourhood Planning represents the socio-demographic diversity of their area and whether their outreach activities, their claims and proposals cater for the interests of a broad section of the local population or, on the contrary, of narrow and powerful groups which dominate the process at the expense of others. This project focuses on London - a highly unequal, fragmented and diverse city faced with rapid demographic growth and a high degree of population transience. Who gets involved in Neighbourhood Planning processes, where and with what agenda (and who does not)? What specific tensions and politics emerge in the process of Neighbourhood Forum formation and application for recognition, and how do local authorities deal with these?
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