Innovative forms of citizen participation: Examples for in Norway and Denmark

Torill Nyseth, Toril Ringholm, Annika Agger

Publikation: KonferencebidragPaperForskningpeer review


Formal procedures of citizen participation in planning and urban governance in Norway and Denmark share many similarities. Although the planning laws are intended to give all affected stakeholders a chance to air their concerns within a limited time frame, then few use these channels for voice in practice. Some scholars claim that a reason is due to rigid and formal procedures and that the ways citizen meetings are structured tend to appeal to a limited amount of the population. At the same time, we are witnessing a proliferation in novel and more experimental ways of how citizens and authorities interact within the field of urban governance. This is for example seen in urban regeneration projects in Denmark and planning experiments in Norway where we are witnessing more inclusive and bottom-up initiated interactions between public authorities and local actors. The key question in this paper is: What characterises the new and innovative forms of citizen participation in urban planning in terms of innovation? And in what ways and to what degree is input from these processes fed into the formal planning processes?
Theoretically, the paper is inspired by the concept of: ‘planning as experimentation’ (Hillier 2007, Nyseth et al 2010), ‘co-creation’ (Voorberg m.fl. 2013), and of the approach to participation offered by Clarke et al. (2014), where the traditional approaches are questioned and a contextualised approach is offered. Empirically, the paper draws on two different cases from Denmark and Norway where we are witnessing some novel ways of involving local citizens in urban planning. Finally, the paper discusses how formal planning procedures can gain inspiration from such initiatives.
Publikationsdato18 jun. 2017
StatusUdgivet - 18 jun. 2017
Begivenhed7th Nordic Geographers Meeting: Geographies of inequalities - Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sverige
Varighed: 18 jun. 201721 jun. 2017
Konferencens nummer: 7


Konference7th Nordic Geographers Meeting
LokationStockholm University
AndetUnderstanding spatial differences lies at the heart of geographical research. Inherit to this is the analytical focus of spatial and social injustices – and the ways in which inequality take place at global and local levels of analysis. These have been important research questions regardless of scientific traditions and paradigms since the birth of modern geography.<br/><br/>The topic for the 7th Nordic Geographers Meeting is: Where are we now? What are the important challenges we have to deal with today? What kinds of spatial and social differences are the most urgent to try to understand? Do we have operational concepts for analyzing today’s inequalities or do we need conceptual improvements? Do we have the methodological tools or is there a need for new approaches?

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