Designing successful stakeholder participatory processes for environmental planning: A case study of subwatershed planning in Hamilton, Ontario
van der Woerd, Mark
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Stakeholder participation has become a valuable tool for agencies in the field of environmental planning. The potential benefits, for both agencies and individuals, of involving stakeholders in the planning process have been widely recognized and well documented. However, the success of participatory initiatives depends on the extent to which local stakeholders are interested in, and capable of, becoming involved in the process. Thus, the outcomes for each process vary as planning issues are dependent on their local context. This study aimed to evaluative the characteristics of successful stakeholder in planning. Specifically, it strived to obtain an understanding of successful stakeholder engagement through developing and integrating an evaluative framework based on the literature with the motivations and perceptions of agencies representatives and local stakeholders. In order to achieve these goals, the evaluative framework was applied to a case study of the Tiffany Creek subwatershed in Hamilton, Ontario. The case study revealed that determining and incorporating the opinions of agencies and stakeholders toward a participatory process can shed light on the characteristics of successful stakeholder participation in a given region. The characteristics of successful stakeholder participation and the integration of agency and stakeholders viewpoints into the planning process are discussed and recommendations to improve participatory processes in environmental planning are provided.