The aim of the workshop is to assess, evaluate and develop various approaches and methods to study citizen participation in the research of urban environments. The workshop will be arranged in two sessions and two languages. For session 1. we welcome presentations that discuss holistic approaches to citizen participation (in English). For session 2. we welcome perspectives of citizen science and co-research (in Finnish).
Holistic approaches (in English)
An increase of citizen participation at the municipal level is supported throughout the political spectrum. It has become an umbrella term for a variety of practices that often originate from different foundations and aim at diverse impacts. Its contemporary applications include citizen assemblies, participatory budgeting, citizen science, crowdsourcing and digital deliberation, whereby formal/informal, public/private, and online/offline processes are integrated under the shared label. They are advocated as ways to fundamentally restructure democratic practices, increase the efficiency of decision making, create new innovations and strengthen local activism. However, studies of participatory processes often focus on a single dimension, such as deliberative quality or impact on decision making and neglect other important functions. Thorough comparison between participatory processes reveals aspects that would otherwise remain unrecognized. We call for presentations focusing on following questions: How to conduct research on citizen participation in constructive and fruitful manner? How research can influence and anticipate the future of participatory processes in an informed and beneficial way? What methodologies and approaches facilitate comprehensive study of citizen participation? We aim at a multidisciplinary panel and welcome presentations based on wide spectrum of quantitative and qualitative methodologies. We are interested in participatory processes conducted in ]person, remote and hybrid environments to establish research-based comparisons between the various approaches.
Please send your abstract to: email@example.com
Kaupunkikehittämistä kansalaistieteellä (Suomeksi)
Kansalaistieteessä (citizen science), kanssatutkijuudessa tai yhteistutkijuudessa (co-research) tiedeyhteisön ulkopuoliset ihmiset osallistuvat aktiivisesti tieteelliseen työhön, yleensä akateemisten tutkijoiden määrittelemiin tutkimushankkeisiin. Tästä voidaan käyttää myös nimityksiä osallistava tiede ja joukkoistettu tiede. Kansalaistieteen termi on tunnettu erityisesti luonnontieteissä. Siinä kansalaiset ovat tyypillisesti
osallistuneet havaintojen keräämiseen kvantitatiivisia menetelmiä hyödyntävää tutkimusta varten. Osallistuminen voi olla myös esimerkiksi tutkimuskysymysten kehittelyä, havaintojen analysointia tai algoritmien treenausta. Yhteiskuntatieteissä on kehitetty kanssa- tai yhteistutkimusta, joka on yleensä laadullista ja kansalaisia monipuolisesti osallistavaa. Usein kanssatutkijoita on käytetty vertaishaastattelijoina, mutta heille voidaan tarjota monipuolisempiakin rooleja tutkimuksen suunnittelusta alkaen.
Samaan aikaan kaupunkikehittämisessä paikallisen ja kokemusperäisen tiedon keräämiseen ja kansalaisten osallistamiseen on haettu yhä syvenevämpiä menetelmiä. Miten kansalaistieteen, yhteis- ja kanssatutkijuuden menetelmiä voidaan soveltaa kaupunkitutkimukseen ja -kehittämiseen? Miten menetelmiä pitäisi kehittää, jotta ne toimivat kaupunkikehyksessä? Millaisiin tutkimuskysymyksiin tai kaupunkikehityksen teemoihin kansalaistiedettä kannattaisi soveltaa – millaisiin ehkä ei?
Esitelmät voivat olla teoreettisia, empiirisiä tai soveltavia ja suuntautua tutkimukseen tai kehittämiseen. Monitieteisyys ja tieteidenvälisyys on tervetullutta. Esitelmät voivat käsitellä esimerkiksi seuraavia aiheita:
- Laadullisen ja määrällisen kansalaistieteen erot ja niiden yhdistäminen
- Kansalaistiede dis- ja misinformaation vähentäjänä
- Kansalaistieteen merkitys avoimuuden, luottamuksen ja osallisuuden lisääjänä kaupunkikehittämisessä (ja -tutkimuksessa)
- Kansalaistieteen etiikka ja vastuullisuus
- Kansalaistiede ja digitalisaatio (esim. kaupunkisuunnittelussa)
- Kansalaistieteen ja osallistava suunnittelun suhde teoriassa ja käytännössä
- Joukkoistaminen kansalaistieteen menetelmänä
- Haavoittuvien, hankalasti tavoitettavien ym. väestöryhmien tutkiminen ja kuuleminen
Lähetä abstraktisi osoitteeseen firstname.lastname@example.org
University of Helsinki
University of Helsinki
University of Helsinki
Citizens of the city as observeres of their environment and monitoring interest as potential guidance method for this activity
Suomen ympäristökeskus (Syke), Digipalvelut / Geoinformatiikkajärjestelmät (DIGEO)
Extensive and organized observation of the environment is traditionally considered to be among the most notorious achievements of citizen science. For example, major part of observational datasets for scientific work on birds originates from observations of the common volunteer observers. Extensive, technologically advanced support systems for citizen observations with ambitious scientific objectives have been implemented at national and international level (1). Systematic citizen observations to support research on sea litter has had significant impact on for example environmental acts of the EU (2). In Finland, citizen observations on algae blooms (cyanobacteria) on surface water bodies are being reported and utilized together with trained volunteers and members of the public administration for algae bloom status indicators (Sinileväbarometri) and national monitoring system of algae on water by using the citizen science platform jarviwiki.fi managed by the Finnish Environment Institute (Syke).
Monitoring site is a common concept of activity for various forms of environmental monitoring: There are exact spesified sites on which the observed birds are counted according to a spesified process, other spesified sites on which amount of litter is counted, and there are observation sites exactly on which the algae bloom situation on sea or at a lake is regularly monitored. The available datasets for summaries and conclusions are better if there are more observations which are properly made, at the relevant time concerning the observed process. More numerous and more geographically representative monitoring sites represent the prevailing situation better in the observational datasets. On one hand, more sites require more effort from participants, on the other hand there is wasted efforts if slowly changing situation is observed too often. If the sites are randomly missed in observations in an uncontrollable manner, important events might be missed and the overall quality of the dataset might decrease. In WaterPlus project in the area of Mikkeli, Finland (4), monitoring interest method (5) is demonstrated to indicate monitoring sites where additional observations might be more significant, based on recent local observational activities, according to a selected value score calculation mechanism.
The monitoring interest, based on open data and interfaces, could be used as a score calculation mechanism for different observational games, to be used by different organisations arranging various activities. However, any organizer could define an own version of score calculation mechanism – depending on viewpoint, this is a positive or a negative property of the system. As for example better information on amounts of litter in different areas might result more effective collection of litter from the environment, the decisions on monitoring focus will have concrete practical implications.
In WaterPlus project, selection of the monitoring sites is free on the demonstration user interface for the participants. Setting the monitoring intrerest requires currentlt special technical skills and knowledge of the system, thus currently it is only available for researchers organizing the campaign. Even if some training and knowledge will be required to set the monitoring interest score calculation mechanisms, it is anticipated this capability is available for individuals and organisations managing the participatory campaigns in general. It is important to consider how available and how distinguishable monitoring interest preferences by different organisers are – and in which manner these preferences should be available e. g. for selected participating groups only. Should anybody be allowed to set and state their own objectives and preferences for guiding the common activities?
Engaging citizens and cross-sectional professionals in RECIPE research project
Information Studies, University of Oulu
Information Studies, University of Oulu
Oulu School of Architecture, University of Oulu
Center of Life Course Health Research, University of Oulu; Department of Sports and Exercise Medicine, Oulu Deaconess Institute Foundation
Natural Resources Institute Finland
Department of Sports and Exercise Medicine, Oulu Deaconess Institute Foundation
In Strategic Research Council (SRC) funded RECIPE project citizens and stakeholders are engaged in research in several ways. Main premise of the RECIPE (Resilient City – Urban planning as a tool for pandemic prevention) project states that health and pandemic prevention is not sufficiently considered in urban planning. Understanding of the urban planning process and the role of urban environment for citizens acquire participatory approaches. This presentation represents two examples of the project’s research engaging citizens and cross-sectional professionals.
One dimension of the project relates to recreational use of urban greenspaces. Public participatory geographic information system (PPGIS) mapping was used to involve residents of Oulu and Helsinki to tell about meaningful greenspaces in the city. An online survey included Maptionnaire tool -based possibility to tag favorite places, to describe purpose of use and to evaluate biodiversity of the places. The survey was distributed via several channels, but also people belonging to Northern Finland birth cohorts 66 and 86 participated and in the end PPGIS-data can be combined e.g., to data on their health and wellbeing.
Another example is the study on co-creation and cross-sectional urban planning process. This research has brought together professionals taking part into the urban planning process of two Finnish cities. The participants were first interviewed, and several joint workshops are arranged during years 2022-2024. This cross-sectional group of professionals is engaged in describing the urban planning process and how different aspects, e.g., health and wellbeing, are included in decision-making. Tools and practices will be developed based on the findings and tested in the workshops.
To study participatory planning in times of resistance and shifting power relations
Researcher in environmental communication, Sveriges lantbruksuniversitet, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences
Researcher in environmental communication, SLU
Research assistant, SLU
Citizen participation can potentially make planning process more democratic and planning outcomes more sustainable. Even so, increased resistance to sustainability policy, by opposing political parties and movements, portends a shift in established power relations that makes the function and meaning of participation increasingly contested and uncertain. We report on ongoing work to develop an approach to study participation in contexts of resistance and shifting power relations. Our approach is informed by the concepts of authority and performativity. Hence, we consider the interactions in participatory planning as performances of authority. Through the theatre analogy, we see this form of planning as social performances including roles such as politician, citizens, planner, facilitator, expert and so on. To study these performances, we combine frame analysis with a selection of case studies of participation. Frame analysis is conducted into policy documents, public speeches, news items and online fora in view of identifying different framings of sustainability transformation and participation. To understand how these framings plays out in the performances of authority, we study a selection of participatory planning processes with variety regarding policy area, governance level and topic. This variety will allow us to identify potential changes in participatory practices broadly, but also make distinctions between the influences of resistance and shifting power relations in different areas of planning. Hence, our approach can provide a novel understanding of how resistance and shifting power relations plays out in contemporary participatory planning.
Understanding Citizen Participation in Municipalities: Lessons from the Co-creation Radar Evaluation Framework
University of Helsinki
Municipalities across Finland and Western societies are increasingly recognizing the importance of citizen participation as a strategic goal. Citizen participation is essential for effective collective problem solving, redefining democracy, improving service quality, promoting communication between the city and its residents, and fostering local identities. These are critical strategic objectives, supported by political parties across the spectrum.
Despite this, in daily municipal governance, citizen participation is often treated as a secondary concern, with leadership, structures, and systematic practices often lacking. However, there is high motivation and a culture of experimentation among cities. Recent evaluations of participatory models and activities in the cities of Tampere and Lahti have uncovered these challenges and opportunities.
In this presentation, I introduce the Co-creation Radar evaluation framework, a comprehensive approach to evaluating citizen participation. I share some of the latest findings from recent evaluations, shedding light on how municipalities can better support and promote citizen participation, and how the Co-creation Radar evaluation framework can help municipalities achieve their goals.
The role of media in diffusing participatory budgeting: News coverage between 1991 and 2022 in Korea using topic modelling
University of Helsinki
South Korea is one of only a few countries that mandates participatory budgeting (PB). The idea of PB arrived in 2002, taking only ten years until it was mandated by law, and currently is applied to all 243 municipalities. While previous studies have highlighted a top-down and technocratic approach to such rapid institutionalisation, this article examines the role of media in diffusing PB. I argue that mass media influence public opinion, providing an empirical source for understanding the trends in public discourse and a basis for anticipating its future, yet less explored in the citizen participation literature. This article collected all Korean news articles that mentioned PB between 1991 and 2022 and applied Structural Topic Models to identify major PB-related topics and trends. The results reveal that the media have framed PB as a strategy for regeneration, election, and self-governance in the historical context of political decentralisation and population concentration. Nevertheless, they have paid less attention to the dark side of mandated PB, which has become increasingly salient in recent years. I will share the results in this presentation, hoping to apply this method in other countries, including Finland.