Introduction: The Participatory Turn in Urbanism


  • Maroš Krivý
  • Tahl Kaminer



This issue of Footprint examines the recent participatory turn in urban planning and urban design. It discusses the co-opting of participatory processes by planning departments, the systematic disregard of inequalities, and the empowering of the market resulting from the ‘anti-statism’ present in many participatory schemes.

What is the relationship between the institutionalisation of participation and the practices of autonomy, self-organisation, and inclusion? When and how does genuine empowerment of collectives take place? Does the demand for the empowerment of local organisations and communities strengthen the market forces at the expense of central government?

This issue attempts to problematise ‘participation’, to call attentions to some of its shortcomings, deficits, and limitations, not in order to necessarily bypass the demand for the democratisation of the urban, but in order to rectify and strengthen it.

Author Biographies

Maroš Krivý

Maroš Kriv. is Invited Professor of Urban Studies at the Faculty of Architecture, Estonian Academy of Arts.

Tahl Kaminer

Tahl Kaminer is Lecturer in Architectural Design and Theory, Edinburgh School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture, University of Edinburgh.