This article examines the relation between citizenship and urban planning. It discusses the debates on citizenship as theory and practice that mediate the relationship between the state and citizens, and highlights the crisis of the liberal social contract as the fallacy of its promises of equality and freedom are increasingly exposed. The article argues that the goals and objectives of planning practice are complicated by their formulation on a contested terrain of citizenship, and suggests that it is essential for progressive planning to engage with the expanded focus of the citizenship debate, from formal rights to justice and from representative to participatory democracy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of Urban Planning
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780199968763
ISBN (Print)9780195374995
StatePublished - Sep 18 2012


  • Citizenship
  • Equality
  • Freedom
  • Justice
  • Liberal social contract
  • Participatory democracy
  • Urban planning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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