New Trends in Bottom-Up Urbanism and Governance—Reformulating Ways for Mutual Engagement Between Municipalities and Citizen-Led Urban Initiatives

  • Rosa Danenberg
  • Tigran Haas


This chapter addresses how bottom-up urbanism relates to urban governance in Europe. The recent proliferation of bottom-up urban initiatives contrasts with the conventional system of top-down planning. This chapter includes eight examples of bottom-up initiatives from Stockholm, Sweden, and Istanbul, Turkey. Three conclusions can be drawn: first, the discrepancy between organizational structures, a hierarchical governmental structure, and the dominance of politics create missing links in the relationship between municipalities and citizen-led urban initiatives; second, new governance arrangements alone are not enough to create opportunities for citizens to partake in participatory methods and to be involved in decision-making processes; third, the political perspective of social innovation reformulates mutual engagement by introducing political liaisons, such as municipal guides or neighborhood councils.


Bottom-up urban development Urban governance Social innovation Istanbul Stockholm 


  1. Akpınar, I. (2014). Legal and institutional context of urban planning and urban renewal in Turkey: Thinking about Istanbul. In G. Erkut & R. Shirazi (Eds.), Dimensions of urban re-development—The case of Beyoğlu, Istanbul (Ch. 2.2). Berlin: Technische Universität Berlin.Google Scholar
  2. Andersson, O. (2017). Segregationen är inbyggd och avsiktlig. DN [Online]. Available at: Accessed June 27, 2017.
  3. Blomgren Bingham, L., Nabatchi, T., & O’Leary, R. (2005). The new governance: Practices and processes for stakeholder and citizen participation in the work of government. Public Administration Review, 65(5), 547–558.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Brenner, N. (2015, April 1). Is “tactical urbanism” an alternative to neoliberal urbanism? MoMa [Online]. Available at: Accessed May 13, 2015.
  5. Chase, J., Crawford, M., & Kaliski, J. (2008). Everyday urbanism. New York: The Monacelli Press.Google Scholar
  6. Cuthbert, A. (2006). The form of cities: Political economy and urban design. Oxford: Blackwell.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Deslandes, A. (2013). Exemplary amateurism—Thoughts on DIY urbanism. Cultural Studies Review, 19(1), 216–227.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Engström, C. J., & Cars, G. (2013). Planning in a new reality—New conditions, demands and discourses. In M. J. Lundström, C. Frederiksson, & J. Witzell (Eds.), Planning and sustainable development in Sweden (Ch. 1). Stockholm: Föreningen för Samhällsplanering.Google Scholar
  9. Erkut, G., & Shirazi, R. (2014). Introduction. In G. Erkut & R. Shirazi (Eds.), Dimensions of urban re-development—The case of Beyoğlu, Istanbul (Ch. 1). Berlin: Technische Universität Berlin.Google Scholar
  10. Fainstein, S. S. (2000). New directions in planning theory. Urban Affairs Review, 35(4), 451–478.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Finn, D. (2014). DIY urbanism: Implications for cities. Journal of Urbanism: International Research on Placemaking and Urban Sustainability, 7(4), 381–398.Google Scholar
  12. Fraker, H. (2007). Where is the urban design discourse? [To rally discussion]. Places, 19(3).Google Scholar
  13. Gerometta, J., Haüssermann, H., & Longo, G. (2005). Social innovation and civil society in urban governance—Strategies for an inclusive city. Urban Studies, 42(11), 2007–2021.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Halbur, T. (2010, April 26). Andres Duany wants to reform the public process. Planetizen [Online]. Available at: Accessed February 28, 2017.
  15. Hou, J. (2010). (Not) your everyday public space. In Insurgent public space: Guerilla urbanism and the remaking of contemporary cities (pp. 1–16). New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  16. Hurley, J. (2013). The public process and new urbanism. In E. Talen & Center for the New Urbanism (Eds.), Charter of the new urbanism (2nd ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill Education.Google Scholar
  17. Iveson, K. (2013). Cities within the city: Do-it-yourself urbanism and the right to the city. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 37(3), 941–956.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Kearns, A., & Paddison, R. (2000). New challenges for urban governance. Urban Studies, 37(5–6), 845–850.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Kelbaugh, D. (2008a). Three urbanisms: New, everyday, and post. In: T. Haas (Ed.), New urbanism and beyond: Designing cities for the future. New York: Rizzoli.Google Scholar
  20. Kelbaugh, D. (2008b). Introduction. Further thoughts on the three urbanisms. In D. Kelbaugh & K. K. McCullough (Eds.), Writing urbanism. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  21. Krieger, A. (2006). Territories of urban design. In J. Rowland & M. Malcolm (Eds.), Urban design futures. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  22. Legeby, A. (2010). From housing segregation to integration in public space: A space syntax approach applied on the city of Södertälje. The Journal of Space Syntax, 1(1), 92–207.Google Scholar
  23. Lydon, M., & Garcia, A. (2015). Short-term action for long-term change. Washington, DC: Island Press.Google Scholar
  24. Moulaert, F., Martinelli, F., Gonzlezález, S., & Swyngedouw, E. (2007). Introduction: Social innovation and governance in European cities—Urban development between path dependency and radical innovation. European Urban and Regional Studies, 14(3), 195–209.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Nicolò, F. (2012). Can neighbourhoods save the city? Community development and social innovation, by Frank Moulaert. Urban Research & Practice, 5(2), 293–295 [Online]. Available at: Accessed June 14, 2015.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Onyango, J., & Noguchi, M. (2009). Changing attitudes of community through the design charrette process. The International Journal of Neighborhood Renewal, 1(3), 19–30.Google Scholar
  27. Rodriguez, M. A., & Azenha, A. L. (2014). Understanding the urban context. In G. Erkut & R. Shirazi (Eds.), Dimensions of urban re-development—The case of Beyoğlu, Istanbul (Ch.3.). Berlin: Technische Universität Berlin.Google Scholar
  28. Rucker, D. (2011, December 2). Why Duany is wrong about the importance of public participation. New Geography [Online]. Available at: Accessed February 28, 2017.
  29. SCB. (2016, December). Key figures for Sweden [Online]. Available at: Accessed February 28, 2017.
  30. Swyngedouw, E. (2005). Governance innovation and the citizen: The Janus face of governance-beyond-the-state. Urban Studies, 42(11), 1991–2006.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Talen, E. (2005). New urbanism & American planning: The conflict of cultures. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  32. Talen, E. (2014, September, 2). Do-it-yourself urbanism: A history. Journal of Planning History, 1–14 [Online]. Available at: Accessed March 24, 2015.
  33. Taylor, M. (2007). Community participation in the real world: Opportunities and pitfalls in new governance spaces. Urban Studies, 44(2), 297–317.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. UN-Habitat. (2013). State of the world’s cities 2012/2013 [Internet]. New York: Routledge. Available at: Accessed December 2, 2015.
  35. United Nations. (2016). The world cities in 2016—Data booklet [Internet]. Available at: Accessed April 14, 2017.
  36. Wänström, J. (2013). Communicative planning processes—Involving the citizens. In M. J. Lundström, C. Frederiksson, & J. Witzell (Eds.), Planning and sustainable development in Sweden (Ch.13). Stockholm: Föreningen för Samhällsplanering.Google Scholar
  37. Yin, R. K. (2009). Case study research. London: Sage.Google Scholar
  38. Zardini, M. (2008). A new urban takeover. In G. Borasi & M. Zardini (Eds.), Actions: What you can do with the city. Montreal: Canadian Centre for Architecture (co-published by SUN).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rosa Danenberg
    • 1
  • Tigran Haas
    • 1
  1. 1.KTH Royal Institute of TechnologyStockholmSweden

Personalised recommendations