How to build stakeholder participation in collaborative urban freight planning

Astrid Bjorgen, Karen Fossheim, Cathy Macharis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)


Although freight issues are often the subject of controversy within urban communities, urban freight stakeholders rarely participate in local planning processes. This paper studies how different criteria to ensure actor participation in collaborative processes are practised in urban freight planning in seven Norwegian cities. The authors link different criteria of actor participation to Arnstein's “ladder of citizen participation”, and study if the collaborative urban freight arenas provide participants with enough power to affect the outcome of improved planning process for urban freight. Participatory observation of collaborative arenas in Norwegian cities, combined with interviews with participating actors, revealed that knowledge and consensus building allowed stakeholders to reach the fifth step on the ladder of participation. The findings suggest that city characteristics influenced what criteria were most important. One important finding was the need to introduce a tenth criterion ‘political and planning anchorage’, which seemed particularly important for private stakeholders' participation in collaborative processes. This finding may be of value to local authorities striving to enhance stakeholder participation and include both private and public stakeholder concerns in urban freight planning.
Original languageEnglish
Article number103149
Publication statusPublished - May 2021


  • Stakeholder participation
  • Collaborative processes
  • Urban planning
  • Consensus building
  • Urban freight


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