Opportunities and challenges of citizen participation in the territorial planning system in Ecuador
Authors: Lorena Vivanco, Alfredo Ordoñez, Natalia Pacurucu, Boris Orellana-Alvear
Abstract: Fragmented public action and the limitations to coordinate national and local public policies with the involvement of citizens need to generate spaces and mechanisms for citizen participation linked to the planning processes of the different levels of government. In Ecuador (2008), citizen participation is a constitutional right of mandatory compliance for the entities and instruments part of the National Decentralized System of Participatory Planning. This study aims to analyze the normative aspects of the citizen participation system for territorial planning at the national and subnational level its opportunities. It challenges to promote the involvement of citizens in the formulation and updating of territorial planning instruments. To this end, an in-depth reading of national legislation is carried out, contrasted with the methodological guidelines of the official planning guides and information obtained from interviews with those who participate in the planning process. The results show that the structure of the participation model established constitutionally after a decade of operation has been limited to a legal process of mandatory compliance by the different levels of government. Participation spaces have been developed only at consultative and information levels. Then, there are no legitimacy processes of territorial planning instruments, which are necessary to implement normative and methodological adjustments that contribute to a new culture of the public planning to build the future development of the territory and its ordering.
Keywords: Citizen participation, territorial planning, governance, multilevel coordination, public management, good living
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