The paper's purpose is to describe and illustrate a range of participatory strategies in order to assist urban managers in expanding the role and effectiveness of user participation in the provision and operation of infrastructure maintenance. The principle objectives concern the conditions and forms of participation, the role of participation in each management function, and the organizational basis of participation. Improved management of urban infrastructure service systems is needed. The main objectives essential to the application of participatory strategies are outlined. Future issues and possible responses in the light of available experience are discussed. The costs and risks of participation - as well as the potential benefits - are considered. Case studies are cited to demonstrate how participation has been effectively employed. A general management concept functions as a basis for discussing the relationship of participants to infrastructure service management. Four strategic approaches form a framework for considering the available options and their requirements and determinants of success. A large body of experience demonstrates the relative strengths and weaknesses of each of these strategic orientations. Finally measures and steps are outlined that could be instrumental in realizing participatory strategies.