What is it about?

The process of planning is often a mystery to those who are affected by it. Partly this is due to low levels of public engagement in the planning process. It is hard to get people to participate in the planning process, to have input into a draft local plan or to band together to prepare a neighbourhood plan, and harder still to engage people in the theory of planning as an academic.

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Why is it important?

The project involved the creation of a theatrical play which asked audiences to play the role of a community facing a major planning decision and provoked them into thinking about the consequences of that decision. This article sets out to explain how we developed the play as a tool to engage communities and the response it had. The article makes the case for a more creative approach to engagement in planning and demonstrates one possible way of doing so. The approach outlined in the paper was capable of engaging communities of all ages from the biggest cities to the one of the most remote communities in England with a surprising level of enthusiasm

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This page is a summary of: Performing planning: understanding community participation in planning through theatre, Town Planning Review, July 2017, Liverpool University Press, DOI: 10.3828/tpr.2017.26.
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