Urban Planning & Design

Stockholm Brings Public Participation Online with Maptionnaire

June 5, 2019
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Delivering housing for tomorrow’s Stockholmers is not an easy task. The city’s population is expected to reach one million by 2022. Stockholm has plans to accommodate this growth by building 140,000 new housing units.

Offline Public Participation is Not Enough

Much of this development is set to materialize around the city center and other urban nodes, which translates to extensive dialogues with local residents about urban change.

To sustainably deliver landmark development projects like Norra Djurgårdsstaden (The Royal Seaport), the city planning authorities are facing a serious need to improve their public participation toolbox. Conventional, offline participation methods alone are not enough.

Enabling Citizens with an Online Community Engagement Platform

Stockholm, like many other local governments across the world, has started to experiment with new ways of tapping into residents’ collective knowledge to plan and build liveable cities. Stockholm is augmenting their community engagement toolbox with new digital tools — Maptionnaire included.

In their first and wonderfully visual questionnaire project, Stockholm used Maptionnaire — a community engagement platform — in mapping residents’ ideas and opinions about public place designs in the Södra Värtan harbor area. The city plans to repurpose the area into a new waterfront neighborhood for roughly five thousand people to live and work in.

Added Values of Citizen Engagement in Urban Planning in Stockholm

Stockholm’s urban planning team immediately discovered the significant value which Maptionnaire added to their work. Maptionnaire has enabled them to have a stronger online presence and to offer people avenues of participation accessible even outside regular office hours. Moreover, the use of Maptionnaire widened the variety of backgrounds and ages of participants in the dialogue for developing Södra Värtan.

“Maptionnaire has been so good in combining and understanding both the technical use and the people we want to have a dialog with. I am so happy with the tool. We all are!

— Birgitta Holmström, Project Leader for Digital Dialog Participation

Thanks to Maptionnaire, the city received useful, actionable comments on how to develop their plans for the area.  Planners have found that people wish for having different kinds of activities present in the area. Locals also highlighted that no cars and buses should be close to the waterfront, which could be transformed into a recreational area. There were also wishes for green areas and parks for children. Have a look at the City of Denver, where the digitalisation of pubic participation has yielded similar results.

Overall, the consultation results have helped Stockholm’s planners to better understand the priorities of the people. These suggestions have been implemented in the final plan that has been approved in 2022. Currently, the construction is underway, and you can follow it here.

Are you interested in learning more about how cities benefit from introducing online public participation into their engagement toolkit?

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