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The City of Portland, Oregon

Community & Civic Life

Promote the common good

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City/County Info: 503-823-4000

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1120 SW 5th Ave, Suite 114, Portland, OR 97204

Wheel vs. Ladder - how do you view levels of public participation?


Traditionally, the levels of public participation have been viewed as a ladder.  From "Inform" being one of the lowest rungs on the ladder to "Empower" or "Decide" being the highest rung of the ladder.

This article challenges the concept of the ladder and proposes a wheel of participation.  Each quadrant breaks out in even more detailed levels from "minimal communication" to "good quality information" and provides examples of what each of these levels looks like.  Take a look! 





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