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Defence of dissertation in the field of land use planning, Sirkku Wallin, M.Sc.

Citizens promoting urban development and challenging urban planning system.
Kaupunkisuunnittelu

The public examination of the doctoral dissertation of Sirkku Wallin, Master of Science, will be held on 20 September 2019 at 12.00 at the Aalto University School of Engineering. The title of the dissertation is Managing urban complexity – Participatory planning, self-organization and co-production of urban space. The field of the dissertation is land use planning, participatory urban planning, complexity research.

Urban development is a complex process that does not take place only through planning and construction. There are civic actions of self-organized dwellers, which produce services and events, create new public spaces and promote urban regeneration. However, this local perspective is rarely met in the formal urban planning practice, which consists of linear procedures and institutional sense-making.

The dissertation of Sirkku Wallin is a longitudinal case study on local urban development in Herttoniemi neighbourhood, Helsinki. The dissertation has analysed urban complexity and discovered two gaps in the planning system; one within planning and implementation in practice, and an other within the comprehension of diverse realities. In the case study, self-organised activists and mundane everyday life improved the local surroundings, while the formal planning initiatives have been less effective to develop Herttoniemi during the past decade.

Unlike the public participation processes in urban planning that often emphasise conflicts and NIMBYism, self-organization filled in the discontinuity of the statutory processes. Therefore, the dissertation suggests that participatory urban planning should be updated with an actor-based perspective and versatile planning methods, which also acknowledge the self-organised urban development operating apart from statutory government and decision-making.

The dissertation conceptualises the Expanded urban planning approach in which versatile methodological competence is part of larger capacity to understand urban complexity. It also includes, besides the anticipation and even resolution of wicked problems, the empowerment of citizens in their everyday life.

Opponent: Senior Researcher Maija Faehnle, Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE)

Supervisor: Professor Marketta Kyttä, Aalto University School of Engineering, Department of Built Environment

Electronic dissertation: http://urn.fi/URN:ISBN:978-952-60-8702-3

Doctoral candidate’s contact information: Sirkku Wallin, [email protected]

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