‘Turku deliberates’ report out now

A few weeks ago, we invited you to the public lecture ‘Implementing a local democratic innovation: Online deliberation on a transportation plan for the City of Turku (Åbo)’ by Professor Kimmo Grönlund. A copy of the report is now out and may now download it here. The abstract of the report is pasted below.

Implementing a democratic innovation: Online deliberation on a future transport system

As part of the development of a new master plan, the City of Turku sought to engage its citizens in the planning process. It contracted Åbo Akademi University and Tampere University to do this. We used a democratic innovation, a deliberative mini-public, to discover an informed public opinion on the transport system in the city centre. To engage a diverse group of people, we used random sampling in recruiting participants. The Turku deliberates -citizens’ panel, with 171 participants, took place in mid-May 2020, and was organised online due to the Covid-19 pandemic. As a novel feature in the growing field of deliberative mini-publics, Turku deliberates also included local councillors deliberating together with citizens in some of the small-groups.

This report presents theoretical arguments for citizen deliberation, describes the process used in Turku deliberates, and highlights the project’s main results. The report also lays out policy recommendations on how to apply deliberative mini-publics in democratic decision-making processes at the local level.

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