Citizen participation in the Environment & Planning Act
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In 2021 a new law in the Netherlands will start operating, the Environment & Planning Act. For the first time, citizen participation in an early stage in Dutch planning processes will be a legal requirement within this law. The Environment & Planning Act focuses on a healthy physical environment that meets the needs of society. A shift from government to governance is noticeable in the Netherlands. The government is slowly moving towards a more facilitating and stimulating role and society is supposed to get a more prominent role. The new law aims to reduce the gap between the state, civil society and the market. Ultimately, the governance process is enhanced by the three stakeholders seeing each other as partners in the process, to improve trust and equality. Since the law is not operating yet, it is unclear if citizen participation will be utilized better and more how the relationship and roles between stakeholders may change in the upcoming Environment & Planning Act. Therefore, the objective of this research is to get an insight into the feasibility of citizen participation in the new law, in the context of shifting from government to governance.