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Community Benefits Agreement And Negotiation Essay

1700 words - 7 pages

Planning decisions embodies the collective voice of communities and key stakeholders. In order to create an implementation that satisfies involved participants, successful negotiation must take place. Negotiation, as Merriam-Webster (2013), is defined as discussing with another to reach an agreement. In other words, negotiation is a tool adapted from the business sector to the public sector as a tool to gathering information to reach a resolution (Shmueli, Kaufman, & Ozawa, 2008).
It is important to have positive interactions between public, private, and community actors. Community actors that affect and ultimately create public value to negotiations are citizens, businesses, other public ...view middle of the document...

In order to maximize public value in the negotiation process, Community Benefits Agreements (CBA) will be analyzed.
As previously stated, negotiations is a fundamental instrument for gathering information (Fontana, 2012). Productive negotiations will aim to find involved participants’ interests, mutual gains, and information (Shmueli, Kaufman, & Ozawa, 2008). Decision from planners and developers encompass change that affect social health, transportation, economic, public life, and environment. As such it is imperative that the population, who have to live with the changes, be involved in the negotiation process leading to the final decision. That is to say, a community does not need a development or amenity that will ultimately not be in use (Musil, 2012). Hence it is imperative to involve the public to understand their interests, find mutual gains, and information.
Interests embody more than just facts. Interests include figuring out the position, demands, and or, preferred actions of the opposite party or community to facilitate towards a specific solution (Shmueli, Kaufman, & Ozawa, 2008). Understanding and discovering interests of involved parties helps identify options that can satisfy and be accepted by all participants. Learning the interests of participants can lead to finding solutions that provide mutual gains.
Mutual gains aim to achieve a solution that leaves parties feeling accomplished and satisfied. An agreement to work together does not mean one party succumbed to “the imitation of the powerful, the lack of a better alternative, or the dispirited lack of motivation to pursue other options (Shmueli, Kaufman, & Ozawa, 2008)”. Seeking mutual gains takes into consideration of interests and seeks an answer that reflects the priorities of participants. Searching for mutual gains lets parties be understood and ultimately allows for flexibility in the openness to other alternatives. Additionally, leaning towards mutual gains explore the means to get more information.
Information is the leading tool to negotiation. It can be manipulative and strategic if used properly. Planners are unaware of the vast amount of underutilized information from community input (Shmueli, Kaufman, & Ozawa, 2008). Varying sources of information guides the chance for the development of innovation (Fontana, 2012). In other words, re-evaluating and re-accesses the utilization of community input (Fontana, 2012), can aid in the negotiation process for successful implementation. However, poor negotiation skills can dissuade cooperativeness and willingness to share information (Fontana, 2012), which can result in a loss.
As such Fontana (2012; p.800) states that additional skills that a planner must have are openness and leadership. Openness allows for interaction with participants, key stakeholders, and positive communication. Leadership creates opportunities for partnership relationship between developers or planners and the community.
In order to effectively...

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