Spatial Knowledge: A Potential to Enhance Public Participation?

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Spatial knowledge, i.e., knowledge about space and place, is commonly used by stakeholders during the deliberative process of public participation practice. The goal of this article is to examine to what extent spatial knowledge exists and is used in a formal public participation practice, as well as its potential to enhance the public participation practice. We used an annual public participation practice in Indonesia called Musrenbang as the case study. Using a three-dimensional framework, we identified the types, levels, and socio‐spatial relationships of spatial knowledge used in the Musrenbang practice. Our study finds that villagers had and used spatial knowledge during Musrenbang. However, the knowledge was not properly used due to three main impediments: The stakeholders were not aware of their spatial knowledge, spatial data was not available, which can help to better utilize knowledge while supporting the participatory process, and power gaps among stakeholders. It can be concluded that the development of suitable methods, which can help stakeholders use their spatial knowledge, is needed to enhance the current Musrenbang practice.
Original languageEnglish
Article number5025
Pages (from-to)1-30
Number of pages30
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 19 Jun 2020


  • Indonesia
  • geospatial data
  • Musrenbang
  • village stakeholders
  • public participation
  • spatial knowledge


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