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Environmental Values

What Silence Knows - Planning, Public Participation and Environmental Values

Anna Davies

Environmental Values 10(2001): 77-102. doi: 10.3197/096327101129340750

While fraught with ambiguities, support for greater public participation in environmental policy making is experiencing a renaissance amongst sections of government and academia, particularly within the field of land-use planning. There is concern within this cohort that the planning system silences public voices through its current mechanisms for community involvement. Proponents of participation often presuppose that more public participation will produce both 'better' decisions and environmental benefits, but to date research has focused on the front-end, or 'processes', of participation rather than the 'products' that result. While procedural aspects of public participation are important it is imperative that critical consideration is also given to what emerges from the participation that is being exalted. This paper addresses this concern by focusing on the products of a public participation exercise conducted in Luton, South-east England in order to consider what it is that 'silence knows'.

KEYWORDS: Environmental values, public participation, land-use planning, Luton,p> REFERENCES to other articles in Environmental Values:

Environmental Values, Anthropocentrism and Speciesism Onora O'Neill

CITATIONS in other Environmental Values articles:

Participation and Environmental Governance: Consensus, Ambivalence and Debate. Harriet Bulkeley and Arthur P.J. Mol

Realms of Value: Conflicting Natural Resource Values and Incommensurability. Sarah Fleisher Trainor

Local Deliberation and the Favouring of Nature. Ivan Zwart

Environmental Policy With Integrity: A Lesson from the Discursive Dilemma. Kenneth Shockley

Addressing Needs in the Search for Sustainable Development: A Proposal for Needs-Based Scenario Building. Catherine Jolibert, Jouni Paavola and Felix Rauschmeyer

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