Planning for "Laobaixing": Public Participation in Urban Transportation Project, Liaoning, China

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

land use - planning, land use - urban design, organisation - management, place - urban, mode - mass transit, mode - subway/metro


Urban transportation, Urban planning, Urban development, Urban design, Transit, Town planning, Public transit, Public participation, Public involvement, Project planning, Project management, Programming (Planning), Planning and design, Metropolitan area planning, Mass transit, Local transit, Local participation, Liaoning Sheng (China), Intracity transportation, Infrastructure, Community planning, City planning, Citizen participation, Case studies


International experience suggests that in the realm of urban transport a public participation process can be a valuable complement of the technical planning process in generating good projects with widespread distributional benefits that minimize the concentration of adverse impacts. If properly designed, participation processes also offer an opportunity to incorporate the interests of vulnerable groups into the planning process. "Laobaixing" is Chinese for “common people.” In Liaoning, China, the successful development of a meaningful public participation process influenced project design on a World Bank–financed urban infrastructure improvement project to address the broad needs of the project beneficiaries better. In particular, the participatory process significantly influenced the project design and raised the sensitivity of city leaders to public needs. Through the process, the project shifted focus from major road expansion to secondary road improvements. In addition, the participation processes grasped latent issues to address better the needs of nonauto users, women, and other vulnerable urban residents. The outcomes of the Liaoning participatory project indicate that a mainstreamed participatory process offers the potential to systematically reveal and address critical issues and public needs early in the planning process; this leads to higher value projects to accomplish investment goals.