Browsing by Subject "citizen participation"

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  • Luhtaniemi, Maria (Helsingin yliopisto, 2018)
    Citizen participation in urban planning has increased in recent decades. In Finland, it is one of the primary objectives of the national Land Use And Building Act (Maankäyttö- ja rakennuslaki), which means participatory planning required in all land use planning. General plan is a document that provides general guidelines for land use and assigns land for different purposes to form a basis for detailed planning and construction. In Helsinki, the latest general plan was accepted by the City Council in 2016. One of the topics that received the largest attention throughout the process was the city's decision to turn its highway-like entry routes into city boulevards that favour pedestrians, cyclist and public transport. This Master's Thesis examines citizen participation in the Helsinki general plan in 2016 with the focus on the city boulevard question. It examines the discussion which took place between the city planners and three groups: other public officials, neighbouring municipalities and individual citizens.The data for this thesis comes from the document called interaction report, in which the planners summarise the comments from these stakeholders and respond to criticism. Through the method of rhetorical analysis, the thesis will seek to answer how the planning decisions are justified, how the planners respond to criticism and how is the planning situation framed for different interest groups. The analysis shows that the main ways to justify the city boulevards were the city's jurisdiction to make this decision, and the collaboration and investigations that had gone into the process. The city boulevard were framed as a city development project that brings growth and benefits everyone. This thesis, more generally, explores the questions of general planning and participation, and gives important insight into the citizen participation process in Finland.
  • Heikkinen, Panu (Helsingin yliopisto, 2021)
    This thesis is a case study that examines the reasons for the lack of citizen participation in the planning process of Kalasataman keskus, and, more generally, in the planning of megaprojects. The main observation of this thesis is that there are several reasons for this. Based on the interviews of main characters taking part in the planning of Kalasataman keskus and the planning documents of Kalasataman keskus (as well as the previous research on the topic) the reasons for lack of citizen participation were: the location of planning area with few inhabitants, the large size of the planning project, technical difficulty of the planning project, the weight on the commercial aspects of the planning, and the view of the planners (relying on experts in the planning). When these results were viewed together with the previous research, it was noted that, as the previous research suggests, the traditional practices of urban planning hinder citizen participation in planning. (For example, seeing that urban planning relies on the technical knowledge of experts.) Moreover, based on the findings of the thesis as well as the previous research, it is possible to see that when the tradition, which emphasizes expert knowledge, is paired with a planning project where the city has a commercial partner, the structures and procedures of planning tend to exclude citizens’ views from the planning process. Partly based on such findings, the thesis suggests that, if the intention is to strengthen citizen participation in, especially large, planning projects, the city should aim to strengthen, for example, local community organizations.
  • Matschoss, Kaisa Johanna; Repo, Juha Petteri; Timonen, Auli Päivi Tellervo (CIMULACT, 2016)
    This deliverable presents the results of the Finnish National Citizen Vision Workshop, held in Helsinki, Finland, on Saturday January 9th 2016. The NCV workshop in Helsinki was part of a series of CIMULACT workshops across 30 European countries, contributing to a total of 180 citizen visions. These visions will be developed to research priorities and policy advice for the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 programme at latter stages of the CIMULACT project. In total 42 citizens took part in the Finnish National Visions workshop.
  • Roikonen, Ida (Helsingin yliopisto, 2022)
    This master’s thesis examines citizens’ opinions and experiences about the City of Helsinki’s participatory budgeting program OmaStadi. OmaStadi is based on a digital platform, where citizens get to propose, discuss and vote for ideas for the city to implement within the program’s budget. OmaStadi was created in 2017 as a part of the City of Helsinki’s new participation and interaction model. Until now, there have been two OmaStadi rounds, the first one in 2018-2019 and the second one in 2020-2021. Governments worldwide have started to implement new citizen participation programs in order to keep citizens engaged in decision-making processes, because the interest towards traditional representative democracy has decreased. Vulnerable groups of people have often been left in the margins in traditional politics, which also calls for new forms of citizen participation. However, previous studies have shown that issues with inclusivity can also occur in modern participation processes and therefore these processes must be planned carefully in order to achieve the desired outcomes. OmaStadi is a relatively new program, and it is important to examine how it could be developed for future rounds. The aim of this research is to identify what could be improved in the OmaStadi process from the citizens’ point of view. I examine how active citizens feel about OmaStadi and their opportunities to impact decision-making through it. I also consider the role of locality and communities in the process and question why some themes and groups of people are underrepresented in OmaStadi. This research was conducted using three qualitative methods, which were semi-structured interviews, participatory observations and social media observations. The interviewees were seven citizens who had actively participated in the OmaStadi process, either by making proposals, campaigning for them or both. The participatory observations and social media observations focused on OmaStadi related events and social media discussions. The findings of this study show that OmaStadi should be made more understandable and accessible for the citizens in order to get more people to participate in it. Vulnerable groups should be better engaged in the process. The lack of resources, such as social networks and digital skills and devices hinders the participation of some groups of people. Strong communities and local campaigning are important factors behind many OmaStadi proposals’ success. Themes addressed in OmaStadi proposals are not as diverse as they could be. Proposals concerning small infrastructural things are strongly represented, while social and cultural themes are downplayed. Involving a more diverse base of citizens in OmaStadi could result to more diversity in the proposals as well. Some active citizens feel that the limitations OmaStadi has for proposals are not clear and the whole process is too long and requires lots of work. For future rounds, OmaStadi could be improved by informing citizens better about the program, making the process clearer and paying more attention to the participation opportunities of different groups of people.
  • Meriluoto, Taina Maria (2021)
    There is growing concern among democracy scholars that participatory innovations pose a depoliticizing threat to democracy. This article tackles this concern by providing a more nuanced understanding of how politicization and depoliticization take shape in participatory initiatives. Based on ethnographic research on participatory projects with marginalized people who are invited to act as experiential experts, the article examines how actors limit and open up possibilities to participate. By focusing on struggles concerning the definition of expertise, the article identifies a threefold character of politicization as a practice within participatory innovations. It involves (1) illuminating the boundaries that define the actors' possibilities; (2) making a connection between these boundaries and specific value bases; and (3) imagining an alternative normative basis for participation.
  • Godenhjelm, Sebastian; Johanson, Jan-Erik (2018)
    The delivery of public services in collaborative agency networks has given rise to an increasing use of projects in administering policy and service delivery. Projects are assumed to provide mechanisms by which flexibility can be achieved and innovative solutions produced. The aim of the article is to advance the understanding of collaboration between stakeholders and its effect on innovation. It analyses stakeholders' influence on the creation of project innovations in 275 European Union-funded projects by using content analyses and logistic regression analyses. The results show that projects can act as hubs where valuable information is produced but that few projects produce innovations. Project stakeholder network, knowledge dissemination and project influence, as well as sources of advice, play a role in predicting project innovations. The article concludes that the overly optimistic view of collaboration as a remedy for a lack of innovation in the public sector can be questioned. Points for practitioners The results of the article help practitioners to compose public sector development projects that foster innovation. The results suggest that it pays to include representatives of research and education facilities among project staff as their inclusion predicts the possibilities of achieving innovations. The empirical findings provide insight into project innovation and indicate which practices to avoid. It is suggested that when managed correctly, stakeholder inclusion has an effect on public sector project innovation.
  • Lund, Virpi; Juujärvi, Soile (Lahti University of Applied Sciences, 2018)
    The Publication series of Lahti University of Applied Sciences
    Participatory budgeting (PB) is an increasingly popular method for enhancing citizen participation in allocating public resources and engaging citizens in urban development. This paper aims to examine an experiment involving PB that used a digital platform as a tool to involve citizens in submitting and voting on proposals for budget allocation in community development. The findings revealed both positive and negative aspects of using digital tools in public participation. Digital tools can engage citizens in the PB process, but public deliberation of citizens’ proposals must be supported to enhance citizens’ impact on local neighbourhood development. The participants were not totally satisfied with the digital platform developed for the process and they needed technical support in using it. The current findings contribute an understanding of how citizens might be engaged in the PB process through digital tools and the findings also emphasise the importance of the deliberative process and public discussion of citizens’ proposals.
  • Nieminen, Hannu; Hakala, Salli; Åberg, Leif; Huhtala, Hannele; Slätis, Thomas; Tarkiainen, Johanna; Valtionhallinnon viestintä 2007 -hanke -ohjausryhmä (Valtioneuvoston kanslia, 2005)
    Valtioneuvoston kanslian julkaisusarja