Citizen Participation in Regional Planning Efforts

by Dawn L. Parks, East Carolina Univ, Greenville, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Coastal Zone '91


During the past 4 decades the formal role of citizens has become increasingly more apparent under changing legislative mandates. This paper examines citizen participation in developing environmental policy using the Albemarle-Pamlico Estuarine Study (APES). Participant roles are investigated using data derived from survey and ethnographic methodologies. Results show that the prescribed formal structure appears to integrate diverse participants into this program; however, upon close inspection regional interests appear unequally represented. Further, data suggest citizens feel limited in their ability to control the direction of APES policy and technical planning. This may impact program legitimacy, since citizens peripheral to communication activity are among the first to resign membership in APES.

Subject Headings: Urban and regional development | Water pollution | Water quality | Estuaries | Legislation | Coastal management | Soil pollution | Sea water

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