In many parts of the world ordinary citizens are demanding to be involved in the planning and management of the environment. One form of such local involvement is scheduled to be introduced into Northern Ireland in 2011. Whilst the introduction of ‘community planning’ is not straightforward in a divided region, even here it is possible to foster meaningful participation in the process in ways that deepen democracy. Conflict will be an inevitable ‘moment’ in the broader democratic process but, through deliberation, conflict can give way to consensus to produce successful community planning outcomes in a region where participative democracy has been long suppressed.
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