The good process or the great illusion? A spatial perspective on public participation in Danish municipal wind turbine planning

Laura Tolnov Clausen*, David Rudolph, Sophie Nyborg

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

This paper explores limitations and potentials of the public space for participation in Danish municipal wind energy planning. Although the Danish procedure for involving citizens in wind energy developments is often praised for its participatory merits, the approach is not without problems. Based on explorative case study research of three Danish wind energy projects at the planning stage, and qualitative interviews with both citizens and planners, the paper reveals shortcomings in terms of perceived procedural fairness and the powerful role ascribed to developers in a planning process. A general conclusion is that the implementation of limited participation requirements of the inherent invited space decouples citizens’ perspectives while providing a space for economic and strategic interests that is closed in its character. However, the study also localizes public input which is not limited to formal participation mechanisms. Self-initiated participation representing a ‘claimed’, ‘uninvited’ and ‘self-organized’ space exerts pressure from the outside and may carry important answers to future energy challenges. The paper suggests that a successful nurturing of such potentials could help to reconfigure a public space that encourages collective reflection between established and oppositional understandings of wind energy and society.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Environmental Policy and Planning
Number of pages20
ISSN1523-908X
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2021

Keywords

  • Public space
  • Invited space
  • Public participation
  • Wind power planning

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