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The Governance Approach of Smart City Initiatives. Evidence from Trondheim, Bergen, and Bodø
Open AccessArticle

Prevailing Approaches and Practices of Citizen Participation in Smart City Projects: Lessons from Trondheim, Norway

Department of Architecture and Planning, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), 7034 Trondheim, Norway
Department of Architecture, Materials and Structures, SINTEF, 7034 Trondheim, Norway
Urban and Metropolitan Studies, Department of Geography, Faculty of Geosciences, Ruhr-Universität Bochum (RUB), 44801 Bochum, Germany
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Infrastructures 2020, 5(4), 36;
Received: 9 March 2020 / Revised: 10 April 2020 / Accepted: 16 April 2020 / Published: 20 April 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Smart Cities and Infrastructures)
Citizen participation has become an important aspect in the design of smart cities. This paper investigates the frame and modality of citizen participation in a European Horizon2020 smart city project, +CityxChange, in Trondheim. +CityxChange aims at enabling citizen participation and co-creation in the transition to a positive energy city. The question is “what are the prevailing approaches and practices in relation to citizen participation amongst the key actors involved in +CityxChange? Which structures and processes have inhibited or fostered the participation mechanisms (e.g., for, by, and of people) and practices in Trondheim?” Through participatory observations and interviews with key local actors and citizens, we found that the focus of +CityxChange on efficiency and creating innovative solutions “for” people in partnership with the private sector has disturbed the “by” and “of” people mechanisms of participation. Citizens’ power and roles are not delegated to challenge or replace the project’s predetermined issue or plan. The anchorage of the project outside of the formal administrative structure has caused other functional barriers that inhibit citizen participation, rather than facilitate it. This paper discusses the causal relationships between these interconnected barriers and suggests how authorities can possibly overcome them. View Full-Text
Keywords: smart city; citizen participation; legitimacy; democracy; +CityxChange; Trondheim smart city; citizen participation; legitimacy; democracy; +CityxChange; Trondheim
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Gohari, S.; Baer, D.; Nielsen, B.F.; Gilcher, E.; Situmorang, W.Z. Prevailing Approaches and Practices of Citizen Participation in Smart City Projects: Lessons from Trondheim, Norway. Infrastructures 2020, 5, 36.

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