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TitlePromoting equity in processes
Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsNelson, V, Martin, A, Casella, D
Paginationp. 347 - 355; 3 boxes; 1 tab.
Date Published2011-01-01
Keywordsguidelines, social aspects, social development, social processes, social structure, urban areas, urban communities, water management

The achievement of sustainable technical and institutional solutions is unlikely unless social inclusion and exclusion issues are addressed. Sustainability is not only about environmental sustainability, but about social equity and human rights. Understanding how exclusion and cultural devaluation works is not always easy, even identifying how and where it occurs in one’s own culture can be problematic. Prejudices can be widespread, persistent and widely accepted, and thus appear ‘given’ or ‘natural’, even though they are in fact socially constructed. Sometimes, challenging vested interests and the status quo can lead to disputes and conflict. Moving from analysis towards engaging disadvantaged groups and confronting prejudice and discriminatory beliefs is also not a straightforward task. It requires resources, facilitation skills and commitment to tackle exclusion in an integrated and coordinated fashion. SWITCH promoted a participatory, multi-stakeholder approach through the city learning alliances. However, it is hardly surprising that not all stakeholder participation processes manage to ensure that less vocal, less powerful groups gain an equal voice in discussions and decision-making. To say otherwise would suggest that a single project, however, well intentioned, could negate the imbalances that exist in society. Planning and policy-making processes do not represent level playing fields: some groups are more included than others. One of the key challenges at the heart of sustainable and equitable development is to find ways to level this playing field and help excluded groups to have greater voice and negotiating power in decision making: for the benefit of the whole society. [authors abstract]

NotesWith bibliography on p. 355
Custom 1205.40


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