Urban participatory governance projects are valued because the participation of citizens in the policy process is expected to make these projects more capable of increasing social cohesion in disadvantaged neighbourhoods. However, there remains a lack of understanding of what this participation looks like and whether it indeed stimulates contact between residents. By reviewing policy documents and interviewing participating residents, this thesis tackles this problem by comparing a top-down project with a bottom-up project in two disadvantaged neighbourhoods in The Hague Southwest. The results indicate a mismatch between the expectations of participatory governance and the actual citizen participation. While traditional participatory governance revolves around the inclusion of citizens in decision-making processes, the participation in The Hague Southwest mostly remains outside the policy arena. Moreover, the local participatory governance projects are unable to facilitate in-depth contact between residents, as residents actually perform and desire more fleeting interactions.

Dr. M. van Ostaijen, Prof.dr. E.H. Klijn
Public Administration
Erasmus School of Social and Behavioural Sciences

Tirza Pulleman. (2021, July 25). The Hague Southwest: A Challenging Change. Public Administration. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/2105/60482