Participatory research and planning


Environmental and Regional Studies (3rd level)

Regional studies (3rd Cycle)

Course code: DIR01
Year of study: without

Course principal:
Assist. Prof. David Bole, Ph.D.


Workload: lectures 40 hours, seminar 20 hours, individual work 120 hours
Course type: modul elective
Languages: Slovene, English
Learning and teaching methods: lectures, seminars, e-learning


Course syllabus (download)


Second-cycle Bologna degree in the relevant track or a university (level VII) degree.


Content (Syllabus outline):

  • introduction to participatory research and planning
  • public participation and democratic legitimacy of planning
  • actors in the development process
  • ladder of participation
  • social power, influence, interests and participatory planning
  • conflict and agreement in planning processes
  • the role of participation in various planning theories
  • methods in the participatory research and planning
  • participatory planning in the practice
  • social initiatives and movements as a for of social participation
  • participatory planning in the Slovene legislation



  • Arnstein, S. R. (1969): A Ladder of Citizen Participation. Journal of the American Institute of Planners 35-4. Cambridge.
  • Delyser, D., Sui, D. (2014): ‘Crossing the qualitative-quantitative chasm III: Enduring methods, open geography, participatory research, and the fourth paradigm’, Progress in Human Geography 38 (2): 294-307.
  • Dicks, B. (2014): ‘Participatory community regeneration: a discussion of risks, accountability and crisis in devolved Wales’, Urban Studies 51 (5): 959-977.
  • Flanegance, M. (1997): Citizen Participation in Planning. Oxford: Pergamon Press.
  • Forester, F. J. (1999): The deliberative practitioner : encouraging participatory planning processes- Cambridge MIT.
  • Fraser, D. G. E., Dougill, A. J., Mabee, W. E., Reed, M., Mcalpine, P. (2006): ‘Bottom up and top down: Analysis of participatory processes for sustainability indicator identification as a pathway to community empowerment and sustainable environmental management’, Journal of Environmental Management 78, 2: 107-208.
  • Gantar, P., Kos, D. (1993): Če bo vodnjak, bo tudi bomba. V: O hišah, o mestih, o podeželjih. (Ur. Alenka Bogovič). Ljubljana: KUD France Prešeren. Str. 97-122.
  • Israel, B. A., Schulz, A. J., Coombe, C. M., Parker, E. A., Reyes, A. G., Rowe, Z., & Lichtenstein, R. L. (2019): ‘Community-based participatory research’, Urban health
  • Kos, D. (2002): Praktična sociologija za načrtovalce in urejevalce prostora. Ljubljana: FDV.
  • Legacy, C. (2017): ‘Is there a crisis of participatory planning?’, Planning Theory 16(4): 425–442.
  • Minkler, N., Wallerstein, N. (2008): ‘Introduction to community-based participatory research’, in Minkler, N., Wallerstein, N. (eds): Community-Based Participatory Research for Health: From Process to Outcomes. John Wiley & Sons, Hoboken, pp. 5-24.
  • Pain, R. 2004: ‘Social geography: participatory research’, Progress in Human Geography 28, 2: 652-663.
  • Shannon, J., Hankins, K. B., Shelton, T., Bosse, A. J., Scott, D., Block, D., Fischer, H., Eaves, L. E., Jung, J.-K., Robinson, J., Solís, P., Pearsall, H., Rees, A., & Nicolas, A. (2020): ‘Community geography: Toward a disciplinary framework’, Progress in Human Geography: 1-22.
  • Wynne-Jones, S., North, P., & Routledge, P. (2015): ‘Practising participatory geographies: Potentials, problems and politics’, Area: 47(3): 218–221.


Objectives and competences:

The aim of the course is to introduce basic principles of participatory research and planning and thus train the students to:

  • identify key actors in the planning process,
  • engage stakeholders in the research and decision-making processes,
  • understand the triggers of the individual and group decisions,
  • know the foundations of the transdisciplinary and result oriented research in geography and planning


Intended learning outcomes:

  • knowledge on theories, concepts, models and methods in the field of participatory research and planning
  • ability to define key development tendencies and to link them with the planning theories
  • knowledge on engaging stakeholders in planning activities
  • identification of proper methodological approaches in the participatory research and planning, able to gain representative results
  • put social participation in the context of social power and influence upon decision-making
  • evaluate the role of participation in various planning theories



Oral exam (100 %).