Heating up the sauna: Analogue model unraveling the creativity of public participation

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One of the main criticisms of participatory planning is its tendency to produce mediocre outcomes due to the compromises made in the search for consensus. As a remedy, there have been recent proposals to enrich participatory processes with stronger visionary leadership. We want to broaden this debate by highlighting the relationship between successful leaderless self-organisation and more conventional forms of participation. We argue that although processes driven by self-organisation can be difficult and confusing, they hold strong creative potential. We demonstrate their dynamics by using an analogue model that contrasts liquid movement with social movement. We conclude that participatory processes with a high amount of self-organisation have not only strong creative potential, but also the potential to constitute a new politics of participation in cities.

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 29 Mar 2023
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • analogue model
  • citizen participation
  • creativity
  • participatory planning
  • self-organization

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 2

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development


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