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Trust, Knowledge, and Legitimacy as Precursors to Building Resident Participation Capacity in Public Land-Use Decisions
Modula, Michael Vincent

2015, Doctor of Philosophy, Ohio State University, City and Regional Planning.
The purpose of this research is to understand how neighborhood residents build a capacity, or conversely, are prevented from building a capacity to participate in city land-use decisions that have an effect on their neighborhoods. The specific focus is on the speech acts of giving explanations and making promises and the contributions of those speech acts to the building up or tearing down of trust, knowledge and legitimacy between the residents, between the residents and their institutions (area commission and its zoning committee in this research) and between the members of those institutions. The goal is to contribute to our understanding of how residents can move between the rungs of Arnstein’s participation ladder so they may participate authentically as partners in the future of their neighborhoods rather than simply giving input. The analysis is based on regime theory utilizing a Participatory Action Research (PAR) methodological framework.
The analysis is based on two case studies from one neighborhood in Columbus, Ohio. Those two case studies confirm the assumption that humans connect to each other and learn from each other through reciprocal acts of exchange or speech acts. Constructive speech acts strengthen trust, knowledge, and legitimacy between people. Under certain conditions destructive speech acts can push people into positions that strengthen their trust, knowledge, and legitimacy. Conversely, destructive acts of exchange can convince people that they have no knowledge or legitimacy and can limit the trust that they build with each other and with their institutions.
We have also learned that the speech acts of leaders (both those who hold positional authority and those who hold personal authority) are particularly important. Neighborhood institutions (e.g. area commissions, civic associations, and other neighborhood-based organizations) are also significant because they provide the spaces and conditions for trust, knowledge, and legitimacy to develop. We learned that the lack of this social infrastructure can be a significant impediment to the development of civic capacity.
The area commission, we learned, is particularly important because it provides a pre-existing institutional “shell” for resident appropriation into a trust-building, knowledge-building, and legitimacy-building institution that can develop or strengthen participation capacity. However it cannot accomplish this without other social infrastructure and without leadership that supports the development of trust, knowledge, and legitimacy among the residents. Part of that social infrastructure comes from smaller, more local, social institutions, such as civic associations. However, there must be a communicative conduit connecting the area commission to the civic associations, and the communication must be bi-directional, trust-building, knowledge-building, legitimacy-building, and representative of residents’ needs and aspirations.
Policy recommendations focus on actions residents and their institutions can take within the neighborhood to build and sustain participatory capacity. Partnerships with other local institutions (such as faith-based institutions) are suggested so long as all parties have a clear understanding of each group’s goals and priorities. Recommendations for future research include further analysis of the role and development of citizen leaders in neighborhood organizations and the impact of individual behaviors of employees within city bureaucracies.
Hazel Morrow-Jones (Advisor)
Kenneth Pearlman (Committee Member)
Jennifer Cowley (Committee Member)
Kevin Cox (Committee Member)
Eugene McCann (Committee Member)
540 p.

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Modula, M. (2015). Trust, Knowledge, and Legitimacy as Precursors to Building Resident Participation Capacity in Public Land-Use Decisions. (Electronic Thesis or Dissertation). Retrieved from https://etd.ohiolink.edu/

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Modula, Michael. "Trust, Knowledge, and Legitimacy as Precursors to Building Resident Participation Capacity in Public Land-Use Decisions." Electronic Thesis or Dissertation. Ohio State University, 2015. OhioLINK Electronic Theses and Dissertations Center. 23 Oct 2017.

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Modula, Michael "Trust, Knowledge, and Legitimacy as Precursors to Building Resident Participation Capacity in Public Land-Use Decisions." Electronic Thesis or Dissertation. Ohio State University, 2015. https://etd.ohiolink.edu/

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