Civil Society as a Beacon of Hope? Governance, Nonprofits & Urban Development in the Metropolitan Regions of the USA
Interdisciplinary Symposium, November 17th/18th 2006 in Berlin
The Schinkel Centre for Architecture, Urban Studies, and Preservation of Monuments and Historic Buildings at the Technical University of Berlin
(TU Berlin) in cooperation with
The Department of Sociology in Planning and Architecture, Institute for Sociology, TU Berlin & The Department of Urban Renewal and Development, Institute for Urban and Regional Planning, TU Berlin
Patron: Senator for Urban Planning, Ingeborg Junge-Reyer, Berlin
Due to a decrease in public resources, loss of effective management capabilities, and a lack of legitimacy in governmental action, Germany, like other western industrial countries, is being increasingly restricted in the realm of public planning. In consequence, many political and governmental actors as well as researchers are finding hope in new modes of governance in urban development, especially the integration of civil society based planning processes. Whilst this integration is said to involve democratic, legitimizing and reform-fostering potential, the focus is not the formal participation of citizens in decision making processes. The issue at hand is that governmental tasks have now become the responsibility of civil society actors like foundations, associations, unions et cetera.
Presently in Germany, the locus of debate is whether the possibility exists for citizens to be ‘activated’ in civil society engagement and how this could be instituted. Comparatively, in the USA, there is a long tradition of civic actor engagement in urban and regional development. The examples from the USA demonstrate what may be possible yet also problematic if civic organizations take over a central role in shaping urban and regional development. Looking at the situation in the USA may assist in ascertaining a more realistic evaluation of potentials and deficits in civic organizations concerning urban and regional development.
Hence we are calling for papers which draw on case studies as a means of discussing the role of civil society actors in shaping spatial development of the neighborhood, city or regional level in the metropolitan areas of the USA. Within the paper the following questions should be raised:
Which civil society actors are participating? What aims do they have? How and with what success do they try to implement these aims? What and whose interests are motivating forces for these civil society actors?
What role do the civil society actors play in the entire planning process? With whom are they cooperating and in what way?
To what extent do the civil society actors in your case study influence spatial development?
Your case study should show the potentials and deficits of civil society actors in planning processes or the respective urban and regional development.
Papers will be selected on the basis of abstracts alone. Please send your abstract (not exceeding 600 words) and a short CV to firstname.lastname@example.org before July 31st, 2006. The abstract should include a brief description of your case study and your hypothesis on the topic of the symposium. Your abstract should also show the context in which you have been researching your case study. For further information please contact Barbara Schönig at the aforementioned email address. The symposium will be held in German, however, english presentations will also be accepted. English abstracts will be provided for all papers presented.
Dipl.-Ing. Barbara Schoenig
Technische Universitaet Berlin
Institut für Soziologie, FG Planungs- & Architektursoziologie
Franklinstr. 28/29, FR 2-5
Germany Email: email@example.com
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