Open Access Journal

ISSN: 2183-7635

Commentary | Open Access

Plowshares or Swords? Fostering Common Ground Across Difference

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Abstract:  With political polarization challenging forward progress on public policy and planning processes, it is critical to examine possibilities for finding common ground across difference between community participants. In my research on contentious planning processes in the United States, I found four areas of convergence between participants over transportation policy and process related to public process and substantive matters. These convergences warrant planners’ attention because they united stakeholders coming from different vantage points.

Keywords:  agonism; agonistic ethos; common ground; conflict resolution; sustainability planning



© Karen Trapenberg Frick. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (, which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.