Times are changing but still today is necessary to deal with planning and zoning laws as well as environmental and different permits.
Our knowledge of Spanish and Dutch urban legislation together with the use of innovative decision-making processes are an asset to plan efficient, sustainable and livable cities.
Institutions and policy makers are aware that these classic instruments can be improved with the use of deeper qualitative and quantitative analyses. It is essential also to see that urban policies are not independent: they have to be integrated in a comprehensive strategy that a consultant has help to create or, in other cases, to understand and complement.
Participatory processes in urban planning are becoming something usual in urban planning. This kind of processes are an answer to society democratic requirements but rather a way of improving planning through collective intelligence.
Participation is more than providing accurate and transparent information or receiving feedback from citizens. The more interaction there is between actors the closer to the needs of citizens will be your plan.
Think big and go further: gamification, focus groups, virtual deliberative forums, participatory budgets...there are many ways of "crowdsource" urban planning.