Planning for Partnerships under the Neoliberal Paradigm: A Study of the Bedford Waterfront Development’s Public Consultation Process

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Morrison, Blaise
Neoliberalism , Waterfront , Public , Consultation , Planning , Participation
This report aims to bridge the gap between the sociopolitical landscape and the physical landscape of every day urban life. The urban landscape, particularly the urban waterfront, is a contested site where different forces – the political, the social, and the physical - come together to produce change. Processes like public participation highlight the power and potential for cities to develop under principles that are not predetermined, despite the clout of neoliberal dominance and normalcy. Through the effective management and realization that there are a variety of interactions, movements and ideologies that influence urban form and everyday urban life, the dynamic nature of a city is revealed. This report is a critique towards the ‘monolithic city’. The Bedford Waterfront Development (BWD), located in Bedford, Nova Scotia, Canada, is used as a case study in order to support this critique. Specifically, this case study asks the following: given the neoliberal paradigm of the Bedford Waterfront Development, what challenges, limitations, and constraints – and even opportunities – exist for the public in the planning decision making process? By critically evaluating the BWD’s public consultation process this report addresses the different ways in which the Bedford community’s voice was heard under a neoliberal waterfront planning framework.
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