The majority of people show no interest in spatial planning and development. They are unaware of its importance for their daily lives. This may be due either to the lack of information or the mindset of people, who believe that even if they participate in the planning, this will have little or no effect on final decisions. My daily work with clients in the procedures for issuing building permits often reveals such thinking, making it a very interesting topic for my research.
With the descriptive and the comparative method, I tried to present national and international legislations and investigate cases of public participation in spatial planning in Slovenia and in some foreign countries, such as Austria, Croatia, Italy, Sweden and Switzerland. The purpose of my tasks was to find methods and techniques to improve and encourage public participation in spatial planning.
From the findings of my research, the following conclusions can be made. Public participation in spatial planning depends on the individual's interest. Therefore, people mainly participate when the planning is related to their own interests. People are not aware that many decisions are not directly related to the environment where they live, but may over time begin to influence them.
The case study clearly shows the importance of public participation in initial stages, when the drafts of a spatial plan are being prepared. It is vital for the public to participate in its design, to have an impact on final decisions and after the plan has been adopted, to monitor its implementation impacts and to have the possibility of an appeal.