Citizen participation in urban governance (CBSS)

Project title: Citizen Participation in Urban Governance

Partners: Minsk Urban Platform (leader), Laboratory for Urban Games and Research “”.

Audiences of the project: urban activists, practitioners, and experts working in participatory planning in Belarus and the Baltic Sea Region. Inhabitants of the districts of multistore houses in Minsk. Users of the public spaces in Vilnius.

Sites of the hands-on workshops:
The courtyard in one of the quartal of blocks of flats houses in Minsk and public spaces in Vilnius – with the focus on Lukiškių square, where a hands-on workshop in participatory planning with architects and users of the square was arranged.


Results and Impacts:
The very first Co-urbanism forum in Minsk and Vilnius was arranged. Further, it became an annual event in the Baltic Sea region that brings together urban practitioners and decision-makers to share participatory practices. The invited moderator for the first Co-urbanism seminar in Vilnius, Giedrė Godienė, has further spread the idea of participatory planning in other Lithuanian towns.

Co-urbanism map of citizen urban initiatives in Minsk and Vilnius was launched for further use. This collective mapped knowledge was used further to explore formulating the principles for the New Urban Agenda for the EU during Amsterdam sessions in 2015-2016.

The almanac “Urban Tactics” materials were collected and published. In the papers, the authors reflected on the experience of participatory planning and the urban narratives that shape the identity of the places [Check in our archive: Co-urbanism 2015: catalogue].

What the Laimikis team learned: This was the very 1st time in Lithuania that the participatory planning session was arranged on-site with the architects and the users of the place. As every user of the place could join the workshop, many children (7-11 years) joined the planning workshop as well as youngsters and adults. We found that children are very good at planning as well as any user of the place! They augmented their solutions nicely and provided some unexpected ideas. People need easy-to-use tools to express their ideas. Architectural models with a set of details are a very attractive tool for articulating and sharing the vision for public spaces. Jekaterina Lavrinec shared her insights from this very first participatory planning workshop in the paper “A Child as a City Planner” (Lithuanian).

Supported by: CBSS / Norden
Duration: 2014-2015

P.S. We are proud that the results of this project have become long-term initiatives that have also contributed to the New Urban Agenda for the EU in the next years. They also contributed to the landscape of participatory planning in Vilnius. However, in Lithuania, we still need stronger interconnections between the decision-making level and the local knowledge accumulated by the active inhabitants through years of their on-site initiatives.