Public participation has attracted considerable interest in urban planning theory and practice. A large body of growing literature has attempted to figure out the importance of public participation in urban planning and management. However, there are very few theory-driven empirical studies in the participation literature that examine citizen's motivation and intention to participate in urban planning processes. The aim of this paper therefore is to fill this gap in the literature by investigating the relationship between motivation and the intention of public participation in the field of urban planning and management. On the basis of a survey conducted in Wuhan, China, a structural equation model is developed and estimated to identify the causal relationships between four motivational factors and three intentions to participate in urban planning. We find positive impacts of “Civil Society” “Personal Interest” “Social Influence” and a negative impact of “Constraints” on the intention to participate in urban planning. The conclusions of this study provide valuable insights for exploring the intrinsic and extrinsic factors affecting citizens' participation intentions in urban planning activities.