Photo: Med Hjerte for Arendal

Photo: Med Hjerte for Arendal

Mobilization of civil society and cultural resources through cocreation in sustainable and democratic urban development projects and place making processes  - 4 examples/cases in Arendal, a medium sized city in the south of Norway.

This thesis- by-compilation is addressing the combination of holistic planning, integrity and proximity in sustainable urban planning and development of places and urban areas, specifically focusing on the involvement of individuals and groups that are not easily taking part in these kind of processes, in order to develop an inclusive and attractive and sustainable municipality. The thesis will give an analysis of methods and tools for civil society mobilization and involvement of citizens and cultural resources in municipal planning processes and urban development projects. Planning is supposed to be an important framework for sustainable development. Municipalities are encouraged to involve residents through the provisions of the Planning Act. This project seeks to understand better how planning processes are designed and framed, whether there is a balance between different considerations and perspectives, and what factors must be taken into account in order to provide economic, social, environmental and democratic sustainability.

The theoretical point of departure is an institutional management perspective, providing analytical tools to look at how the municipal planning system is both formed - and creates a framework for - the interaction between different stakeholder groups. I will address this  through a communicative approach and social semiotics framework.

This is combined with action research, looking at some key factors, methods and tools in successful mobilization. Both a physical-spatial and a socio-spatial dimension can be present in urbanism and planning, and these dimensions will be included in my work.

In addition a resource-based methodology associated with my involvement in 4 municipal planning processes in Arendal will be part of the theoretical analytical perspectives .


Institute of Urbanism and Landscape / Jonny Aspen and Peter Hemmersam (Supervisors)

PhD started in 2017