Collaborative planning aims to shift decision-making from government officials to citizens and stakeholders. Recently, scholars and practitioners have focused a great deal of attention on such efforts, particularly in the context of watershed management planning and ecosystem management. Collaborative planning, some argue, can lead to better land use plans as well as foster increased community capacity to constructively address important issues. But the policy implications of collaborative planning are not well understood. To date, scant research has focused on understanding how participants without binding legal authority arrive at specific plans and what those plans contain. This study offers insights into this process, through a cross-case comparison of 15 community-based advisory task forces to develop farmland preservation plans in Ohio, USA. Analysis of plan documents, combined with task force member and local government official interviews, reveal patterns of plan contents and planning processes across different contexts. Results suggest that several contextual variables are associated with the sophistication level of completed plans, while group size and financial resources are linked to the amount of network-building fostered by the planning process.
Landscape and Urban Planning – Elsevier
Published: Dec 15, 2003
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