Document Type

Article

Publication Date

January 1971

Volume

56

Abstract

Citizen participation has been advocated as an essential feature of urban antipoverty programs. Ideally, such participation can serve both individual and societal goals. It can provide self-realization and develop personal competence in participants. It can also promote substantively better decisions for government, integrate alienated groups into the governmental process, make government more visible, and gain consent and confidence for a program from the citizenry.All too often, however, bureaucracy has retained a great deal of control over the participatory aspects of governmental programs. The resultant overregulation has stifled the potentially creative role that citizens might have played and destroyed program credibility. There are indications that this is now happening in the Model Cities Program funded by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). History can forewarn us of the dangers that program now faces.

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