13. Round Table: Self-Organisation Challenging Institutional Planning

Reflecting on a New Urban Research and Planning Paradigm

Chairpersons: Maija Faehnle, PhD, senior researcher, Finnish Environment Institute SYKE – Sustainable Urbanisation & University of Tampere

Annuska Rantanen, PhD student, project researcher, Laboratory of Architecture, Tampere University of Technology

TYÖRYHMÄSESSIO III / SESSION III: Perjantai / Friday 9:30-11:00

Round Table discussion



Työryhmäkuvaus / Session Description:

In a profoundly interconnected world, city-regions are facing changes in unprecedented ways due to rapid urbanisation, technological development and environmental threats. Managing the future development with old models has become impossible. The term self-organisation is commonly used to imply ‘bottom up’ grassroots movements as opposed to the ‘top down’ institutional governing. Governance studies however separate self-governance from self-organisation: while self-governance refers to deliberative civic actions and citizen initiatives, self-organisation refers to non-intentional, from local initiatives and actions emergent outcomes at a larger urban scale. Conceptual differences have significant implications for the analysis and planning strategies. The strategies for guiding self-governed urban development would include empowering actors while identifying potential synergies between actors’ and city’s goals. Managing self-organising urban development requires more open-ended strategies and monitoring, evaluation and learning.

The Journal of Finnish Urban Studies has launched a special issue on self-organising urban development and planning (Yhdyskuntasuunnittelu-lehti 2017, vol 55: 3) The aim of this special issue was to take a limited but multi-voiced look at the broad field of self-organisation and assess its implications for urban planning.

This round table continues the discussion, and invites all interested parties to join in to reflect on: What do we mean by self-organisation? What kinds of challenges and possibilities will self-organisation imply, conceptually and practically, to the evolution and planning of cities? What is the role and what are the tools and strategies of statutory planning in respect of supporting self-organisation? What are the tactics used by actors and citizens to make an impact on their environment?

The roundtable takes place as a moderated discussion involving the authors of the special issue as well as the other participants. Differing from the other working groups, there is no abstract submission to this session.