The increasing importance attached to the role of public participation in pursuing sustainability objectives and managing crucial environmental problems, reflects the conviction that citizens and stakeholders can, under certain conditions, constitute agents of change for coping with contemporary societal challenges. Participatory planning approaches are nowadays gaining importance in the light of the radical social, economic, cultural, environmental, technological and other developments, reflecting citizens’ and stakeholders’ request to be part of decision-making processes as to the management of resources. This request is mainly related to transparency and adoption of more democratic decision-making processes, but also to issues of legitimization and validity of decisions made.
The scope of the present book is to offer the educational material needed for teaching participatory approaches in planning in a range of scientific disciplines. The aim is to contribute, both from a theoretical and a practical point of view, to the upgrading of knowledge of young scientists on participatory planning issues, rendering them agents of change towards the wide adoption of these approaches. At the same time, its ambition is to increase their awareness and educate them in their role as active citizens, ‘cells’ of a new participatory culture in the Greek society. Finally, the book targets all those who are interested in participatory planning (policy makers, decision makers, urban and regional planners, environmentalists, local administration etc.), aiming to offer a ‘guide’ for better grasping the issues but also the value of participatory approaches, which can be implemented in a wide range of planning issues, in various scientific disciplines and at various spatial scales.