Recently, both practitioners and researchers emphasize whether and how public authorities involve citizen in the formulation and implementation of public policy. Citizen participation is particularly emphasised in the area-based initiatives in urban areas facing challenging living conditions. Many expressed high hopes for what was possible to achieve by introducing digital platforms and channels for citizen participation. Findings, however, show that city authorities strive to reach out to “the silent voices” regardless of using digital or traditional participatory channels. Whether and how participation impact cities policymaking is, furthermore, unclear.
This year’s conference in public management and leadership at Oslo Business School focuses on what is needed to accomplish inclusive and meaningful citizen participation. The conference reports findings from a research project on democratic urban development in the digital age (DEMUDIG) and other research projects on citizen participation in urban planning and development. The English-language part of the conference is presented below.
09:30 – 10:00: Registration and coffee (Pilestredet 35, Auditorium PH170)
10:00 – 10:30: Welcome and performance
10:30 – 11:00: Citizen participation, digital technology and urban development
Sissel Hovik, Professor, Oslo Business School, OsloMet.
Cities around the world apply digital technologies to promote citizen participation and city-citizen communication in urban development processes. Whether and how such digital innovations affect citizen participation is however contested. Hovik reports findings from the DEMUDIG-project regarding how different city and system characteristics affect cities adoption of digital tools and the extent and impact of citizens participation in urban development.
11:00 – 11:15: Break
11:15 – 12:00: Sense of place: Co-creation with the local community – lessons from area-based initiatives
Keynote speech by Annika Agger, Lector, Roskilde University, Denmark.
Despite a proliferation in more interactive and participatory engagement formats, it is most often ‘resourceful citizens’ that participate. The question is: how can public sector agents stage and facilitate arenas for participation that involve a broad set of actors including the ‘silent voices’? Based on her studies of Area-based initiatives and ‘Smart cities’ in Danish and other European cities, Agger will talk about the opportunities and challenges public authorities face when involving citizens in creating a sustainable urban development and how they can work more strategically in order to enable inclusive, democratic and effective urban development.
12:00 – 13:00: Lunch break
13:00 – 14:30: Parallel session:
Inclusion in digital participation – innovations and opportunities
The session focuses on innovations and opportunities for promoting inclusion through digital participation. The session presents findings from a series of case-studies of digital participatory platforms in Oslo, Melbourne and Madrid.
- New opportunities for inclusion? An in-depth case study of Oslo’s participatory platform ‘min side’. George Anthony Giannoumis, Associate professor, Department of computer science, OsloMet
- E-gentrification; digital participation and gentrification. Ian McShain, Professor, and Bhavna Middha, Research Assistant, RMIT Melbourne
- The development and evolution of ‘Decide Madrid’ and future opportunities for digital participation. José Manuel Ruano de la Fuente; Professor, Universidad de Complutence, Madrid
- Comments by Oslo city (to be confirmed)