Residents’ workshops as a tool of social engagement in Espoo Centre

The article describes an experiment of exclusively residents’ workshops as a part of participatory action research. Four successive workshops were designed to engage residents in local development procedures in a suburban area, aiming at enhancing residents’ voices and their responsibility-taking, and employing timely dissemination of emerging knowledge. Thirty-six residents joined a bottom-up process yielding three initiatives with interests groups. Residents were able to self-organize initiatives with support from facilitators guiding small-group processes and regulating knowledge-building. As a conclusion, residents’ workshops are recommended as a tool for citizen participation in urban development.

Keywords: Residents’ workshops, urban development, social engagement, experiential knowledge, action research.

Virpi Lund

KTM, lehtori, Laurea-ammattikorkeakoulu