The development of smart cities of the future calls for innovative usage of emerging technologies, as well as for novel and effective forms of collaboration across a large number of heterogeneous stakeholders, such as municipal decision-makers, entrepreneurs, and citizens.
The premise for this research project is that citizens that is, the end-users of municipal services and infrastructure possess - knowledge and capabilities that are key to achieving significant leaps toward smart and sustainable urban development. However, the participation of citizens in relevant decision-making processes is currently severely limited by a number of barrier factors, including lack of suitable processes and tools for participation, lack of knowledge on sustainable development, and lack of awareness of participation opportunities. To address this shortcoming, this current multidisciplinary research project investigates barriers to, and opportunities for, citizen participation in Nordic municipalities. Our project develops scalable, citizen group-specific and easy-to-adopt methods that promote citizen participation in smart and sustainable urban development in the Nordic context.