Community participation in the delivery of infrastructure: a cross-cultural examination of its impact on the capacity building of local communities
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Community infrastructure plays an important role in improving the quality of life of the urban poor. Much research has focused on the impacts of such infrastructure provision on resident wellbeing, but less attention has been focused on the potential to further improve quality of life through the use of community participation in the provision of that infrastructure. This paper reports on the approaches adopted for in-situ redevelopment housing projects in Victoria, Australia (Victoria Neighbourhood Renewal) and Pune, India (Yerwada Slum Up grading project) to consider whether these approaches to community infrastructure provision have assisted in capacity building of the local residents. The paper draws on evidence collected through observational study, informal discussions and analysis of relevant media in both case studies, in addition to structured questionnaire/surveys of households and the organisations involved in the Pune project. The paper discusses the effectiveness of collaborative planning strategies developed through community participation, in terms of capacity building outcomes based on findings from the two case studies. The paper concludes with a discussion of the lessons learnt from the two case studies regarding the role participatory planning in built environment renewal ca n play in capacity building for the urban poor. It also comments on the extent to which such projects can contribute to the independence and resilience of communities after the renewal has been completed.
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