Urban Anticipatory Governance

55 Pages Posted: 2 Apr 2019 Last revised: 24 Oct 2019

Date Written: March 11, 2019


Legal scholars who study cities and urban governance discuss participation in a number of ways, and at various moments in the legal process. Frequently, however, less attention is placed on anticipatory participation — forward-looking, flexible, and inclusive public engagement — and its role in promoting effective and legitimate policy. The emerging concept of anticipatory governance synthesizes different notions of improving participation and places focus on how residents can best participate in society’s most difficult decisions. At the local level, such matters are often those that address land use and economic development.

The recent climate change preparedness strategic plan in New York City, known as PlaNYC, is an example of a local anticipatory governance process addressing population growth as well as global climate change. Building on the PlaNYC case, this Article illustrates ways that cities can, and in fact already are, address participation early on in the planning process to improve the quality of resident engagement. This Article offers a frame-work for how local government can use anticipatory governance concepts to promote resident participation in influencing how projects are developed in the built environment. Residents, the primary users of public space, have unique expertise and can engage with professionals to plan accessible and equitable cities. Anticipatory participation may even assist in moving beyond difficult land use decisions where compromises appear most remote. An urban anticipatory governance approach addresses society’s most complex issues, in flexible ways, allowing residents and experts to work together, with enough time for that collaboration to have a meaningful impact on decisions.

Keywords: climate change, state and local governance, land use, PlaNYC

Suggested Citation

De Barbieri, Edward, Urban Anticipatory Governance (March 11, 2019). Florida State University Law Review, Vol. 46:1, 2019, Albany Law School Research Paper No. 14 for 2019-2020, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3350571 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3350571

Edward De Barbieri (Contact Author)

Albany Law School ( email )

80 New Scotland Avenue
Albany, NY 12208
United States
518-445-3234 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://albanylaw.edu/faculty/faculty-directory/edward-w-de-barbieri

Do you have negative results from your research you’d like to share?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics