Purpose of Review We review 50 articles from 2015 and 2016
that focus upon public and stakeholder engagement as it pertains
to the built environment. Our purpose is to understand
the current state of the literature and approaches being used to
better enable public and stakeholder engagement. As part of
this review, we consider whether recent digital and mobile
technologies have enabled advances for stakeholder and public
Recent Findings The literature suggests some positive and some
challenging developments. Researchers clearly suggest that most
policy-makers and planners understand, and to some extent, aspire
toward enabling more inclusive participatory planning processes.
That said, there is far less consensus as to how to make
meaningful inclusive participatory processes possible even with
digital, as well as more traditional, tools. This lack of consensus
is true across all academic disciplines reviewed.
Summary We discuss these issues as well as current solutions
offered by many scholars. We find that no single solution can
be applied to different situations, as contextual factors create
different problems in different situations, and that the participation
process itself can create biases that can—intentionally
or unintentionally—benefit some participants over others.We
conclude with a series of questions for practitioners and researchers
to consider when evaluating inclusive engagement.