Contracting communities: Conceptualizing Community Benefits Agreements to improve citizen involvement in urban development projects

Leonie Janssen-Jansen*, Menno van der Veen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Contractual agreements are becoming increasingly important for city governments seeking to manage urban development. Contractual governance involves direct relations between the local state and different public and private actors and citizens. Although abundant literature exists on public–private partnerships related to urban development projects, agreements made between
citizens, interest organizations and market parties, such as Community Benefits Agreements remain under-explored and under-theorized. While it may seem that the state is absent from contemporary forms of contractual governance, such agreements remain highly intertwined with government policies. The central aim of this paper is to better conceptualize Community Benefits
Agreement practices in order to build understanding of how contractual governance caters for direct end-user involvement in urban development, and to yield insights into its potential as to render development processes more inclusive. Based on academic literature in planning and law, expert interviews and several case studies in New York City, this paper conceptualizes enduser
involvement in urban development projects and innovates within urban planning and governance theory through the use of two new concepts—project collectivity and the image of a fourth chair.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)205-225
JournalEnvironment and Planning A
Volume49
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Keywords

  • citizen involvement
  • Community Benefits Agreements
  • contracts
  • development agreements
  • urban planning

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