City-Regionalisation, Local Democracy and Civic Participation

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-review


City regions have emerged as a new significant spatial formation complementing and challenging the traditional state-based public space organised as a territorially layered system of municipalities, regions and the state itself. Expanding city-regionalisation has also been actively promoted as part of state–governmental strategies to foster economic development and municipal co-operation within urban agglomerations across Europe. As evolving new spaces for governing, policymaking and planning, city regions in Finland grow in between, within and beyond the territorial organisation of the state, through relational connections and disruptions, largely following economic logics but also involving sociocultural elements and political steering. While this makes them strategically ‘agile’ and capable of accommodating various informal, ad hoc and contract-based forms of governing and planning, important questions have arisen about democratic accountability. In many countries, including Finland, city regions are weakly institutionalised and therefore lack established democratic practices for citizen participation. This chapter discusses city-regionalisation as a challenge for local democracy and participation in Finland and beyond. Through an example from the Tampere city region, the regional tramway project, we discuss how citizen participation can be understood in a relational city-regional framework We conclude by probing into the challenge of redressing the democratic deficit of city-regionalisation.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFinnish Public Administration
Subtitle of host publicationNordic Public Space and Agency
EditorsElias Pekkola, Jan-Erik Johanson, Mikko Mykkänen
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-031-34862-4
ISBN (Print)978-3-031-34861-7
Publication statusPublished - 2023
Publication typeA3 Book chapter

Publication series

NameGovernance and Public Management
ISSN (Print)2524-728X
ISSN (Electronic)2524-7298

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 3


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