Author ORCID Identifier

https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1309-242

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1-1-2017

Publication Title

Canadian Journal of Urban Research

Volume

26

Issue

2

First Page

33

Last Page

51

Keywords

citizen participation, transit planning, municipal government, regionalism

Abstract

Th is article provides a comparative analysis of citizen participatory mechanisms at the regional and local levels. Th is research focuses on two cities that institutionalized citizen participation in their transit planning processes. In Detroit, Michigan a Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) was established to assist with the preparation of a regional transit master plan while the City of Hamilton in Ontario formed a Citizens’ Jury (CJ) to examine the establishment of light rail transit. Th e article analyzes these mechanisms’ overall representativeness of the general population, their operation and contribution to ‘policy learning’, and their impact on subsequent transit policies. We fi nd that these participatory mechanisms are generally regarded as important and useful by both the participants and the politicians that established them. In spite of this, the conclusion reached is that neither mechanism had a signifi cant impact on transit policies. In both cases, the policy decisions were aff ected by a range of factors and particularly the local and regional political contexts. Indeed, it can be argued that both cities are plagued with regional divides that potentially no amount of citizen participation can solve.

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