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Robert Mark Silverman, Li Yin and Henry Louis Taylor Jr.

This chapter describes strategies adopted by community development researchers to manage competing interests in the public participation process. A typology of competing interests in the public participation process is introduced. It is applied to the analysis of stakeholder engagement in a project focused on neighborhood revitalization and inner-city displacement in Buffalo, New York. That project involved: the engagement of citywide stakeholders in collaborative analysis, consultations with grassroots stakeholders about the analysis, and a series of focus groups with homeowners, renters and other neighborhood-based stakeholders. The findings describe how the researchers managed competing interests during each stage of the participation process. The findings also highlight how the typology of competing interests in public participation can inform community development professionals working in other contexts.