Planners’ role in accommodating citizen disagreement: The case of Dutch urban planning

Esin Özdemir, Tuna Tasan-Kok

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    16 Citations (Scopus)
    56 Downloads (Pure)


    Citizen disagreement on urban policies and planning decisions is both ubiquitous and fundamental to democracy. Post-political debates debunk the ‘consensus approach’, which is grounded in Habermasian communication theory, for circumventing disagreement. This article presents a counter argument. Our analysis of the highly institutionalised and consensus-oriented Dutch planning framework shows that this system does not necessarily prevent effective voicing of disagreement. The empirical material demonstrates that consensus is not a pre-defined and static outcome but a dynamic and sensitive process in which urban planning is an instrument. We conclude that planners could facilitate consensus through accommodative roles that address disagreement by taking an adaptive, proactive and more human stance.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)741-759
    Number of pages19
    JournalUrban Studies: an international journal for research in urban studies
    Volume56 (2019)
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 2017


    • citizen disagreement
    • consensus
    • Dutch urban planning
    • post-politics
    • urban planners


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