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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.

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Kelly L. Patterson, Molly Ranahan, Robert Mark Silverman and Li Yin

Chapter 15 by Patterson, Ranahan, Silverman and Yin examines community benefits agreements (CBAs), an emerging form of public engagement and governance related to urban revitalization policy in the USA. CBAs are equity-based development strategies that focus on linking community benefits to private and non-profit sector urban revitalization projects. They exemplify emerging approaches to urban revitalization and governance that involve three distinct interests: labour and grassroots organizations; developers from the private and non-profit sectors; and local government. In this new form of governance, the government’s traditional role in the implementation of urban revitalization projects has shifted to public and non-profit organizations. This shift reflects a more general trend toward the replacement of direct government implementation with shared governance strategies. In their chapter, Patterson et al. review empirical research on CBAs and then present four critical case studies. Their analysis focuses on public engagement strategies and governance in the CBA process. In particular, Patterson et al. compare negotiated agreements in which private versus non-profit sector developers play a key role.