In recent years, commentators and government officials have realized the importance of effective solicitation and integration of public participation in environmental decisionmaking. A plethora of theories and strategies designed to encourage decisionmakers to consider public input an integral part of policy development and implementation have been introduced. A similar number of methods to increase the public's feeling of connection to the decisionmaking of their government have been suggested. This article suggests a framework in which the various forms of public participation may be organized, so that participants can become cognizant of the role they play in the overall process of environmental control. Such a framework will enable presentation of the many diverse forms of public participation as a cohesive system, as opposed to a jumble of unrelated efforts. As such, the framework can be used as a guide for decisionmakers and the public alike, to coordinate efforts and foster an understanding of how individual forms of participation combine to animate public involvement as a whole.
Nancy P. Spyke,
Public Participation in Environmental Decisionmaking at the New Millennium: Structuring New Spheres of Public Influence,
B.C. Envtl. Aff. L. Rev.