Volume 6, Issue 1 (2016)                   Naqshejahan 2016, 6(1): 17-5 | Back to browse issues page

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Ansari S, Andalib A. An Evaluation Framework for Measuring Participation in Urban Renovation Projects and it’s Application in The Special Renovation Project of Shahid-Khoob-Bakht Neighborhood. Naqshejahan 2016; 6 (1) :17-5
URL: http://bsnt.modares.ac.ir/article-2-3203-en.html
1- PhD Student, Urbanization Department, Tehran University of Art, Tehran, Iran , saminehansari@art.ac.ir
2- Associate Professor of Department of Urbanization, Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran
Abstract:   (9932 Views)
In last two decades, the misuse of the word participation as a nice adding to the title of most urban projects in Iran has become customary and habitual. Most of these projects would not even begin to measure up to the actual meaning of this word and even if they claim that they do, it is hardly possible to evaluate their work as there could be loads of misunderstanding in what they would define an absolutely qualitative concept like participation and how should it be measured. Considering the abundant of the incorrect use of the term participational Urban Renovation and its Ambiguous meaning due to the vastness of scope, this paper is aiming to create a framework that can qualify participatory aspect of urban redevelopment projects and calculate it to a quantitative value which would be shown in percentages. This framework can be extremely helpful in creating a measurement of real participation in urban renovation projects, and work against non-participatory actions in these projects. In this paper, first, there is an elaboration of participation and explanation of the process of participational Urban Renovation. We emphasize the importance and the necessity of public involvement in these projects and explain how this constant public participation translates into a process of Renovation and introduces The Step-Wise-Logic of the LUDA Regeneration Process. This process is a set of tasks and related activities for diagnosis of the urban distress, visioning the desired future by engaging and involving stakeholders, programming this vision, implementation of the program, and monitoring the success of the program. In the next part of the literature review, the variations of involvement in these regeneration programs are discussed; and classifications of such participation is represented based on the participation ladders from Arnstein’s first ladder in 1969 to the more recent ladders. Arnestein’s participation ladder focuses on three main levels which are Nonparticipation, Tokenism, and Citizen Power or Partnership. On the other hand, other researchers have also organized various participation procedures according to the degree of public involvement, varying from the public right-to-know to public partnership in decision-making. They also recognize that the nature of participation can change over time, and different engagement approaches may be more suitable for various stages of this process. After discussing participation processes based on the participation Ladders, We developed a chart to compare the ladders and match the levels of participation that they represent, while trying to be as discreet as possible not to ignore the differences between them but to strengthen the very core of each level by finding new participatory instruments that could be defined within each step. The goal of Combining these various approaches in form of a chart was that the combination could provide a more comprehensive picture of the degree of participation that was actually occurring rather than each one of them individually. In the developed chart, the rows represent the scope of participation, and the columns include participatory tools and methods which are graded by their importance based on three primary levels of Arnstein’s ladder itself. Therefore, the rows of this chart include three main levels of Nonparticipation, Tokenism, and Citizen Power, and three sub-levels for each level. The four columns of this table include the participatory instruments and methods represented in four different main approaches, including UNDP’s, and also Dorcey, Wiedemann & Femers, Conner, and Pimbert & Pretty›s views on the subject. For example, the Arnstein’s highest level of participation, called “citizen control,” in which citizens have full power to plan, make decisions and manage is parallel to the “self-management” level in UNDP’s approach which indicates the interactions of stakeholders in learning processes, which optimizes the well-being of all concerned. This row of the chart is also level to “self-mobilization/ active participation” and “on-going interactions” in other approaches. Another example could be the last row of this table, which represents the lowest degree of participation or non-participation, and is level to manipulation, informing, and passive participation; and is characterized by one-way communication with stakeholders, with neither channel or feedback nor power for negotiation. In this paper, to use this chart as a framework for evaluating the case study, we changed adapted it for evaluation of an actual urban Renovation project by assigning colors and hatches to each step of the renovation process and showing the methods of public participation which were used in each step by different colors. The steps of Urban Renovation were defined according to The Step-Wise-Logic of the LUDA Regeneration Process, as explain before. Therefore, we have considered participation acts in these steps, and assigned colors and hatches for presenting each of them, which include “participation in Diagnosis,” “participation in Visioning,” “participation in Programming,” “participation in Implementation”, and “Participation in Monitoring.” The case study of this paper is “the special Renovation project of SHAHID KHOOB-BAKHT’S neighborhood” and this project was defined by “The Urban Renovation Organization of Tehran City”, as a pattern to be followed by other urban redevelopment projects as well; and therefore, it was imperative to evaluate the level of real participation that this pattern made possible. By reviewing the existing data and formally published reports on this project, we extracted the participatory tools and methods which were used during various steps of this project and developed the adapted version of the explained table for it. Then the number of colored or hatched cells for each step of the project was multiplied by the previously assigned grades and the final results which will evaluate the general rate of participation by percentage were calculated. The results show that in the case of this particular project, the most degree of participation occurred in the programming step and this participation belonged to the “citizen control” and the “tokenism” types of participation in general and specifically to the sub-types of partnership, consultation and informing, which are placed on the 4th, the 5th, and the 6th level of the table. The results also showed that there were moderate degrees of participation in the visioning and the implementation steps of the project, at the “tokenism” level and the “consultation” sub-level of participation. It was apparent that involvement of stakeholders in the monitoring and the diagnosis of this project was non-existent. This is especially alarming because it shows that the residents are not held responsible for supervising the process of the project nor surveilling the vitality of their neighborhood as a thriving community. Improving the levels of resident involvement in the monitoring and diagnosis steps could ensure that the decaying cycle of urban fabric would eventually slow down as the residents would get much more sensitive to the quality of space in their neighborhood. The general rate of participation in this project is measured to be 65.4 percent, which shows that considering all the obstacles that this project had to overcome – legal, financial, social obstacles, etc. - as a new experiment, there is hope for the other projects which are following this project’s particular process as a pattern.
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Subject: Fuel Technology
Received: 2016/04/7 | Accepted: 2016/03/20 | Published: 2016/06/4

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