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Framework for community empowerment in planning and operational decision-making in Iskandar Malaysia

Zanudin, Khalid (2020) Framework for community empowerment in planning and operational decision-making in Iskandar Malaysia. PhD thesis, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia.


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Community empowerment is defined as a medium to increase the community's influence, especially the low-income segment in making decision that concerns their interest due to their incapability to genuinely participate in the decision-making process. The purpose of this research is to develop a framework to empower the low-income segment’s capability in participating and influencing both the planning and operational decisions. It is grounded by the analysis of the current practice of community participation in the development plan-making and planning permission in Iskandar Malaysia, in which this research focuses on both Johor Bahru and Kulai districts. The content of planning documents such as the reports of the Public Inquiry and Hearing Committee for the local plans of Johor Bahru and Kulai, and the mixed development applications are gathered and analysed. A series of in-depth interviews and focus group discussions with key informants, namely the local public planners, residents’ committees, local councillors and, private developers’ representatives are performed to gather the primary data from the actors. A total of 43 in-depth interviews and nine focus group discussions involving 67 participants were conducted. Thematic analysis and document analysis are selected as the methods to analyse both the primary and secondary data. The findings indicate that the current community participation process in Iskandar Malaysia is ineffective in providing a genuine opportunity to the low-income segment to participate in the development plan-making and planning permission. It requires improvement in several aspects: the incorporation of community interest in decision-making and collaboration between the community and other stakeholders, community's access to planning information and process, intergovernmental relationship in the planning process, improvement to the community's awareness and knowledge, the community's representation, and the skill and attitude of the public planner in handling community participation. Hence, a framework to improve the empowerment of the low-income segment in the development plan-making and planning permission processes is developed. This framework comprises the key principles guidelines: the local planning authority’s approach in engaging with the community, the capacity for both the local planning authority to provide platforms for communication and engagement, and the participation of the community in the planning process. The commitment from the planning authorities and non-government actors and the continuity in reviewing and evaluating the performance of the framework are also part of the framework. As a conclusion, the research contributes to expanding the researches in the area of community empowerment from the urban planning perspective. It also improves the current practices of community participation by the local planning authority and the community's awareness about its roles in urban planning.

Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords:development plan-making, Iskandar Malaysia, community empowerment
Subjects:N Fine Arts > NA Architecture > NA9000-9284 City planning
Divisions:Built Environment
ID Code:96269
Deposited By: Narimah Nawil
Deposited On:05 Jul 2022 15:47
Last Modified:05 Jul 2022 15:47

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