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A new customer‐oriented participation method for communicative planning

Wisa Majamaa (YIT Construction Ltd, Helsinki, Finland)
Matti Kuronen (YIT Construction Ltd, Helsinki, Finland)
Juha Kostiainen (YIT Construction Ltd, Helsinki, Finland)
Chris Heywood (Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning, University of Melbourne, Parkville, Australia)

International Journal of Housing Markets and Analysis

ISSN: 1753-8270

Article publication date: 4 April 2008




This paper aims to examine the identification and engagement of future inhabitants in urban planning processes using a new “public–private–people partnerships (4Ps)” participation method, where public, private and people are in partnership. This form of participation gives new information, related to consumers’ residential choice, unlike those environments produced by using other participation methods.


The empirical study is based in innovation theory where end‐users are primary stakeholders in the innovation process, and even innovators themselves. A case study of a new participation method based on a two‐phase internet questionnaire is used to research practical solutions in integrating end‐users into urban planning process.


This paper demonstrates that the widely used theory of communicative action in planning and its aim of increasing citizens’ activity in planning and development processes can be developed to the stage that it also includes future inhabitants as stakeholders. Thus urban planning processes become innovative and customer‐oriented through their openness, end‐user orientation and interpretative nature.


The case study findings indicate that the new participation method described here gives flexibility and benefits to all stakeholders and is a method to create consumer desirable neighborhoods. Engaging future inhabitants in planning processes opens previously unseen potential for including consumerist possibilities for cities and developers. This paper illustrates that this new 4Ps participation method makes comprehensive participatory planning and development possible through giving an opportunity to include consumers’ opinions and needs into an alternative to traditional communicative planning.



Majamaa, W., Kuronen, M., Kostiainen, J. and Heywood, C. (2008), "A new customer‐oriented participation method for communicative planning", International Journal of Housing Markets and Analysis, Vol. 1 No. 1, pp. 68-80.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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