This special section examines the possibility of meaningful debate and contestation
over urban decisions and futures in politically constrained contexts. In doing so, it
moves with the post-political times: critically examining the proliferation of deliber-
ative mechanisms; identifying the informal assemblages of diverse actors taking on
new roles in urban socio-spatial justice; and illuminating the spaces where informal
and formal planning processes meet. These questions are particularly pertinent for
understanding the processes shaping Australian cities and public participation today.