Urban (co)participatory practices (case Dnipro City)

Keywords: community, urban participatory practices, urban (city) areas, togetherness, territorial community

Abstract

The study tested, that participatory urban practices are a form of social practices, implemented in city areas and connected with the process of (co)participation of the citizens, both collectively and individually, in the city’s vital activities. Those practices can be implemented on the three levels: formal, semi-formal, informal. Wherein, it is stated, that on the formal level of the implementation of participatory practices, citizens recreate themselves in a form of territorial group, on the semi-formal – as a community, and on the informal – as a togetherness. There is a whole spectrum of various participatory practices on the formal level – a city referendum, general citizens’ meeting at the place of residence, local initiatives, public hearings and councils, bodies of self-organization of the population, etc. To semi-formal one can include the budgets of participation, city participatory projects, etc., to informal - the local actions of like-minded people, who unite around space. The study notes, that since the 2000’s, the gradual activation of collective participatory forms has begun. Even though, the researches have shown, that those practices nowadays are vital only for a small part of the territorial community. Probably, the main reason for that is the habitus of modern Ukrainian that is a combination of strong distrust towards government, including the local one; distrust that people are capable to influence the decisions of officers, paternalism of mindset, etc. Therefore, the leftovers of Soviet world perception don’t let the modern citizens actively use legal schemes in urban participatory practices. On the other hand, the informal practices follow the concept of tactical urbanism. Its main idea is that people change the city themselves, only they can improve the surroundings through the action that don’t require neither a lot of time, nor money, just a bunch of enthusiasts. Moreover, the study proved that today institutionalization of urban participatory practices takes place both «from the bottom and from above». The main prerequisite for the emergence of new practices is the impossibility of the old (traditional) to fully meet the demands of actors in achieving certain goals. In this regard, new practices arise, for example, a consensus conference, a consultative survey, an open office, a public panel, etc. The actual and potential level of participation of residents of the city of Dnipro in the life of the city is revealed. The results of four national surveys, studies of the Department of Sociology recorded that the residents carry out routine actions based on the habit, believing in the fact that there is a certain order of action, but not much efficiency in them. Regarding semi-formal and informal practices, the readiness for their implementation is inherent in the Dnipro City, not to a significant extent.

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Published
2018-11-16
How to Cite
Demicheva, A. V. (2018). Urban (co)participatory practices (case Dnipro City). Grani, 21(10), 96-104. https://doi.org/10.15421/1718134
Section
Article