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3C // Co-constructing city futures (completed)

Co-constructing city futures (3C) address participation in the construction of ideas and visions for city futures. The project was initiated in a sandpit process addressing the green shift by developing projects that lead to radical and bold solutions and concepts for future cities.

About the project

Co-constructing city futures (3C)' addresses current problems in the development of cities. While civic participation may be a goal, levels of participation are often low, limited to certain sets of stakeholders, and the collaboration between them often poor.

3C will contribute to an ongoing debate in participatory design broadening the perspective on learning. Central to the project are ideas about situated, collective and connected learning in the context of planning practices, political opportunities, interest driven activities, and activism, where participants make the connections between design and the consequences it has for their practice in the future.

To support a constructive dialogue, 3C will take advantage of online information, such as imaginaries and materialization through situated simulations and social media, as digital technologies provide opportunities for radically expanding the entry points and pathways to learning, co-construction, and civic engagement.

Research Design

The research design is based on a ‘compositionist’ design programme in the form of democratic design experiments. Future orientation and learning, inherent in the political and ethical grounding of participatory design, will stimulate visions and ideas relevant for future local practices, e.g. among planners and other stakeholders, and for application of collaborative methods of developing scenarios, and relevant ICT approaches.

The project seeks to enable constructive dialogue between stakeholders in order to achieve mutually beneficial outcomes. To achieve this, we will conduct case studies in selected Norwegian cities, focusing on topics that are highly relevant to people's everyday life, such as green mobility and green-blue infrastructure.


The object of 3C is to study participatory urban planning and the potential of digital tools and digital ecologies for fostering co-creation of future scenarios for the city.

More specifically:

  • Conduct and scientifically report from two case studies with diverse stakeholders. The goal is to understand matters of concern, capacity for co-creation, conditions for public debate, and triggers and barriers for participation.
  • Promote and scientifically report from developing more participatory practices of urban planning based on the cases. The goal is to promote a more emergent, dynamic and responsive planning system.
  • Design, develop and make available ICT resources that support capacity building and co-creation of city futures for citizens and planners. The goal is to provide both online resources and open source tools and platforms for participation.
  • To engage with stakeholders in cities across cases to exchange ideas and models for participation, also at a global level.


3C will develop concepts, methods and technologies for co-constructing scenarios. Materials for capacity building for planners and citizens, co-developed with stakeholders, will be made available.

Academic papers from the cases on green mobility and green-blue infrastructure, conceptual development, and on global exchange will be published.


3C is a multi-disciplinary project with members from planning and research. 3C will develop cases and work closely with stakeholders in their local practices.

Published Oct. 20, 2016 3:57 PM - Last modified Jan. 5, 2022 2:49 PM


Project manager: Ole Smørdal