Citizen engagement and participation in urban policy- and decision-making

Our society and the political landscape are becoming more and more heterogeneous. It is increasingly important for cities to be able to engage citizens for bringing them closer together and increasing their trust for public authorities. It is also a great asset for cities if the citizens commit for cities and contribute for their well-being and prosperity.

During the recent years cities all over the world have been experimenting new ways to engage and involve citizens for the urban policy- and decision-making such as participatory budgeting process in Helsinki “OmaStadi”. There are also many initiatives under development such as participatory city planning through XR technologies.

This proposal aims to encourage multi-disciplinary research projects to present their recent work in the area of participatory governance, and to illustrate recent research on cases/experiments in cities.

The specific interest areas are:

How to engage citizens in urban policy- and decision-making?
How to attract wide participation – beyond the active group of citizens?
How to enhance the user experience of new services?
How to measure the impact of participatory governance services on urban well-being?
What are the political, economic and societal consequences of participatory governance?

By focusing on the practical implementation of recent experiments of citizen engagement and participation in urban policy- and decision-making, the working groups are able to provide insight for cities and the related actors what needs to be implemented in terms of mechanisms and structures to really make the participatory governance work. We also aim to increase current understanding about the results, outcomes and impact of participatory governance.

(The abstracts can be either in English or in Finnish)

Session chairpersons:

Mona Roman, Director, Innovations – Functional City for People
Metropolia University of Applied Sciences

Virpi Lund, Senior Lecturer and Degree Coordinator in Social Sciences at Laurea University of Applied Sciences.