The role of public insight in urban planning process: Increasing efficiency and effectiveness
Public interest (citizens, investors, interest groups, NGOs, media and similar) in the urban planning process and proposed planning solutions, certainly is not negligible, however, according to the opinion of the professional public, it has often been wrongly directed and conducted. The legal basis, which in rudimentary outlines prescribes the procedure of the public insight/hearing, i.e. the presentation of the planning document, does not provide sufficient input, however, also does not prevent organization of more qualitative and productive communication with the interested individuals, not only at the very finalization of plan development, but also at the initial phases of the initiative for decision making or forming the conceptual solution. In order to better comprehend the real needs of the citizens, urban planners should much earlier than the public insight i.e. presentation of already formed solutions, get in touch with citizens, interview them, organize workshops, insights and meetings on specific topics, trying to explain the planning procedures, standards and norms, as well as to present all that which is required in order to raise the quality of life in the neighborhood and provide some level of public interest and good, and thus increase the value of real estate. On the other hand, the citizens knowing their living environment the best should participate more actively in its creation, by indicating to the problems and needs, reacting to certain topics and thus assisting the professionals in shaping and committing their planning solutions. To that respect this paper provides certain recommendations, based on international experience, by implementation of which the satisfactory level of democracy (more transparency, inclusivity and effectiveness) of the procedure should be provided in Serbia as well.
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