The Hebrew University of Jerusalem Jerusalem Israel Public participation is considered by many to be a prerequisite for the realization of democratic values, and for the achievement of design and planning that meet the needs of different groups of people. Classical models of public participation within the design and planning fields have focused almost completely on the point of view of the professionals or decision makers who 'want' to involve the public. Even in the social work and community planning literature, that is supposedly more sensitive to the point of view of the people they work with, the same attitude is evident in the way many talk about participation. Almost everyone has adopted the ladder of participation conceived by Arnstein in the late 1960's (Arnstein, 1969). Only recently have we noticed that even a later elaboration of this ladder (Alterman, Law-Yone & Churchman, 1981), focused on the role of the persons involving others, and in many respects ignored the activities and the motivations of the participants. We have come to the conclusion that these should really be called ladders of involvement.