Side event

Citizen participation in planning: from the neighbourhood to the city

Date: Wednesday, 24 November 2021
Where: Online
Large yellow digger vehicle parked in front of slum dwellings.

Under government plans for informal settlement upgrading, houses are being demolished to clear space for road widening and urban infrastructure development within Soweto East village of Kibera, the largest informal settlement in Nairobi, Kenya (Photo: Victoria Hickman via FlickrCC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

This event on Wednesday, 24 November reflected on the needs and challenges of citizen participation in the planning and development of informal settlements.

Globally, over one billion people live in informal settlements, often with limited infrastructure and access to essential services. When efforts to shape these areas arise, residents are often left out of the planning processes.

This online event explored the need for participation of residents in planning and why the capacity to go to scale is essential to successful development initiatives.

The need for citizen participation in local planning processes has long been recognised. Such involvement is essential for both equitable democratic citizenship and for effective interventions that respond to everyday lived realities.


    Juliette Tunstall (, IIED's internal engagement and external events office