In this interview from Architect, Diana Lind talks with Duany about the problems associated with public participation and how they can negatively affect the planning process.
"Diana Lind: Is there a better way to get public participation in the design process without a project falling prey to local interests?
Andres Duany: Conventional public participation makes the mistake of privileging the neighbors, the people who live within a half-mile of the given proposal. So it becomes extremely difficult to, say, locate a school or an infill project. While democracy doesn't need a great number of voters to function well, it does require a full cross-section to participate. That is the source of its collective intelligence. You can't confuse neighbors with the community as a whole.
We propose using the jury pool or the phone book to invite a random group, which is then understood to be apart from the self-interested neighbors, just as the developer or the school board are acknowledged as vested interests. The neighbors must be seen as vested interests as well."