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Learning while participating in public planning, and having fun: Testing a method of using focus groups and a vision of a sustainable future neighborhood, that ‘pushes the limits’
Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.
2018 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

We are facing the problems of climate change, the unfair share and over use of Earth’s resources. Global North overuses, Sweden has an ecological footprint of four planets. The challenge is to change our lifestyles. This thesis is trying out a method to diffuse ideas of sustainable development (SD) and for citizen participation. I created a future vision of a sustainable neighborhood inspired by Jane Jacobs and the concept of densification. This I presented to three homogenous focus groups: the next-door neighborhood, home owners and people in rentals. Free discussion then followed, and then a questionnaire. The findings where that the participants, fifteen of sixteen, thought the method gave them new ideas, allowed them to share their knowledge, and that it was a good method for participation. I thought that it was a ‘fun’ method. Focus groups research works more the way people normally interact, as did the literature show. I could see the learning process, that Patsy Healey describes, the creation of cultures, and also how the issue of SD was explored. It was time consuming to recruit participants. The tendency was that volunteers liked to talk, had an interest in planning, although not all in favor of SD. Many resembled me, in age and cultural background. The method could be useful to deepen dialog with citizens, especially in an early stage of planning. The vision should be ‘daring’ to spur good discussions, that may land in a compromise on SD.

Abstract [sv]

Vi står inför klimatförändringar, den ojämna fördelningen och överanvändningen av jordens resurser. Nord överanvänder, Sverige har ett ekologiskt fotavtryck på fyra planeter. Utmaningen är att ändra vår livsstil. Denna uppsats prövar en metod för att sprida idéer om hållbar utveckling och för medborgardeltagande. Jag skapade en vision för ett hållbart grannskap inspirerad av Jane Jacobs och begreppet förtätning. Denna presenterade jag för tre homogena fokusgrupper: de i närmsta grannskapet, de som ägde sitt boende och de som hyrde. Sedan följde fri diskussion och sedan en enkät. Resultatet blev att deltagarna, femton av sexton, tyckte att metoden gav dem nya idéer, tillät dem att dela sina kunskaper och att det var en bra metod för deltagande. Jag tyckte att det var en ’rolig’ metod. Forskning med fokusgruppers fungerar mer som man vanligen umgås, vilket även litteraturen visade. Jag kunde se lärandeprocessen, som Patsy Healey beskriver, skapandet av kulturer och också hur begreppet hållbar utveckling undersöktes. Det var tidskrävande att rekrytera deltagare. Tendensen var att de frivilliga gillade att prata, var intresserade av planering, men inte alla positiva till hållbar utveckling. Många påminde om mig, i ålder och kulturell bakgrund. Metoden kan vara användbar till att fördjupa dialogen med medborgare, speciellt i ett tidigt stadie av planering. Visionen ska vara ’vågad’ för att sätta igång bra diskussioner och landa i en kompromiss i hållbar utveckling.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. , p. 77
Keywords [en]
Sustainable development, public planning, densification, participation, learning, future vision, focus groups, Earth’s limitations, sustainable lifestyles, Örebro, Äpplestaden
Keywords [sv]
Sustainable development, public planning, densification, participation, learning, future vision, focus groups, Earth’s limitations, sustainable lifestyles, Örebro, Äpplestaden
National Category
Human Geography
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-67379OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-67379DiVA, id: diva2:1221875
Subject / course
Kulturgeografi
Supervisors
Available from: 2018-06-21 Created: 2018-06-20 Last updated: 2018-06-21Bibliographically approved

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