Citizens as everyday experts in urban regeneration projects

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Recently, the scholarly field on area-based initiatives have highlighted the ‘human dimension’ as a transformative factor in urban planning. Yet, the role of ‘local change makers’ or what I label as ‘smart urban intermediaries’ acting at the micro level and their practices that lead to social innovation in the neighbourhood remain relatively overlooked. Drawing on an empirical study ‘Smart Urban intermediaries – connecting people changing communities’ this paper looks at local citizens as catalyzers for change. As such, they can be perceived as ‘place-based’ everyday experts that engage with public and local stakeholders in and across the neighbourhood. The key question, raised in the paper is, what kind of ‘expert knowledge’ does these local – change makers possess? And how is it enacted and interpreted in the different relations. Empirically, the paper draws on the danish data – of a European study where we followed 40 practitioners in deprived neighbourhoods across four cities - Amsterdam, Birmingham, Copenhagen and Glasgow. The paper provides new knowledge on how micro-level practices bring about social innovation and contribute to the continuous process of ‘community-making’. Moreover, I show how this expertise is often over-looked in urban governance and I argue that place-based interventions and area-based initiatives can gain not only better anchored solutions, better outreach by drawing on these local everyday expects and by enabling local platforms for collective action for stakeholders in the neighborhood.

Keywords: everyday experts, laymen knowledge, area-based initiatives, change-agents,
Original languageEnglish
Publication date21 Apr 2021
Publication statusPublished - 21 Apr 2021
EventIRSPM Conference 2021 - Public Management, Governance and Policy in Extraordinary Times: Challenges and Opportunities - Online
Duration: 20 Apr 202123 Apr 2021

Conference

ConferenceIRSPM Conference 2021 - Public Management, Governance and Policy in Extraordinary Times: Challenges and Opportunities
LocationOnline
Period20/04/202123/04/2021

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