WIT Press

The Small World Of Stakeholder Groups: Cascading Concepts For Urban Change


Free (open access)





Page Range

71 - 83




3274 kb

Paper DOI



WIT Press


M. Ganis, J. Minnery & D. Mateo-Babiano


This research seeks to understand why some stakeholder groups adopt novel urban design notions and others tend to lag in the uptake of these ideas. Key stakeholder groups participated in a semantic differential task of bipolar urban design qualities. A concept mapping task revealed those groups who aligned in their concept of good urban places and by implication, those that differed. The results showed that architects and planners are early adopters of urban design concepts, engineers, developers and the community are an early majority of adopters and landscape architects and councillors are the late majority. A small world metaphor offers a model for the spread of ideas between groups. Keywords: perception of place, small world networks. 1 Introduction Urban change is sometimes fraught with difficult planning negotiations. Such difficulties occur because stakeholders’ planning expectations are not often satisfied. We need to elicit an underlying conceptual structure of their expectations for urban places. This discussion will consider firstly: the perception of place as a cognitive process; the role of small world network theory in understanding the process of the spread of ideas; and finally, the results of an empirical study interpreted in the context of a small world approach in understanding stakeholder groups’ acceptance of novel ideas in planning urban change.


perception of place, small world networks.