Courses. Horizons. Mirages. Fluent recurrences inside the sense definition - Starting from acknowledging the crisis of sense of the discipline of territorial and urban planning, we want to explore the theme of inhabitants’ participation as a fundamental tool for new policies of local self-sustainable development. Participatory processes by governmental agencies are widespread practices; therefore, some key aspects have to be highlighted in order to retain the meaning and the innovative contributions of such practices to the discipline.