8. 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.

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. 

Esitykset/Presentations:

Pe/Fri 23.4. 9:30 – 11:30 Sessio III  / Session III

1. Designing cyberpunk characters to make urban data more accessible for
citizens

Teija Vainio & Kirsi Haikio, Aalto University

Annika WolffAnne Pässila & Antti Knutas, LUT University

Urban data and urban information systems provide a huge amount of data every minute to inform us of the latest weather forecasts, environmental disaster, real-time traffic jams, and changes in the bus timetables. In addition, more data related directly to the urban policy- and decision-making processes are shared by different stakeholders to engage and involve citizens for urban development. However, many concerns are raised about the ways the information is actually represented, focusing on how easy data is to read and how easy it is to understand?

We share our experiences on exploring cyberpunk character to bring the environment ‘closer’ to urban public who may not immediately experience it themselves. This could be used to support them to challenge authorities on issues that can remain ‘hidden’, but which could be revealed through data. It could provide practical ways for authorities and scientists to make their data more engaging and usable by the public, thereby opening up better dialogues between stakeholders.

This presentation is based on the ongoing SciberCity project, funded by EU’s Designscapes
programme and led by LUT University, Finland.

2. Osallistumisen kulttuuriset resurssit asuinalueen suunnittelussa: tapaustutkimus Arabian alueen täydennysrakentamisesta

Jonas Sjöblom, Tampereen yliopisto

Esitykseni perustuu väitöskirja-artikkeliini, jossa tarkastelen, millaisia kulttuurisia resursseja kaupunginosa-aktiiveilla on oman asuinalueensa täydennysrakentamisen suunnitteluun osallistumiseen. Tarkastelen kulttuurisia resursseja Pierre Bourdieun kulttuurisen pääoman käsitteestä johdettujen tapojen resurssien, symbolisten resurssien ja institutionaalisten resurssien avulla. Tapaustutkimukseni kohteena on Arabian alue Helsingissä, jossa on ollut aktiivista kansalaistoimintaa kaupunkisuunnitteluun liittyen koko 2010-luvun ajan. Tutkimusaineistona ovat kaupunginosa-aktiivien tuottamat kirjalliset dokumentit ja teemahaastattelut. Analyysin tulokset osoittavat, että kaupunginosa-aktiiveilla on osaamista kaupunkisuunnittelun käytännöistä ja tietoa alueen arjesta, jaettu käsitys, miten aluetta tulisi kehittää ja osallistumisen uskottavuutta lisäävää asiantuntijuutta. Kaupunginosa-aktiivit näyttäytyvät koko alueen asukkaille hyödyllisinä tulkkeina kaupunkisuunnittelun kysymyksissä, mutta pienen osallistujajoukon vuoksi toiminnan edustavuus alueen asukkaiden äänenä voidaan kyseenalaistaa. Artikkeli lisää tietoa, miten suomalaisessa suunnittelujärjestelmässä oleva kommunikatiivisen suunnittelun väline, kirjallinen mielipide, toimii käytännössä.