Co-creating Urban Futures: Citizen Participation in Local Governance URBAN5137

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Social and Political Sciences
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 1
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

The module draws on the network of Civis, the European University, to offer an internationally taught blended programme of studies, with online teaching and a 5 day workshop in Rome. It develops critical, comparative and interdisciplinary knowledge on co-creation and citizen participation in local governance and examines its potential to address urban challenges in diverse contexts. Cities have a significant role to play in advancing democracy and citizenship. In an urban world, cities are both home and local political context for most people. As centres of social life, economy and resource use, cities are also key sites for dealing with global challenges like climate change. Citizen "co-creation" is an important means of opening-up multi-directional, horizontal dialogues and decision-making processes between government and civil society. But it necessitates experimentation and institutional change, which can be difficult for local governments because of rigid structures and a lack of resources. There are also concerns over the extent to which citizens can genuinely influence government. Hence critical engagement with local concepts and practices of 'co-creation' is necessary to identify challenges and ways forward.


Five 2-hour Online Sessions (combining lecture and seminar format), October - December 2023. Five-day Workshop of seminars, fieldwork, group project work and presentations in Rome, c. late-November. Four online sessions occur fortnightly in October and November, with a concluding session after the workshop, early December.


Requirements of Entry


Excluded Courses





1. Prepare group presentation at the end of the 5-day Brussels meeting (group work based on fieldwork activities, interviews, etc); grades awarded on a group basis: 50% of final grade.

2. Written report (2000 words) on the strengths and weaknesses of co creation to expand the democratic governance of cities.  Grades will be awarded on an individual basis. Students will refer to the Rome case studies, use the interview notes, recordings and any material presented at the Workshop, as well as wider literature.  

Course Aims

■ To develop a critical understanding of co-creation in urban contexts

■ To understand key the main challenges to, and opportunities of, co-creation projects to advance citizen participation in local governance

■ To learn skills of engaging with government and the public

■ To experience collaborative, interdisciplinary learning in international context

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

■ understand and critique the concept and practice of co-creation as it affects citizen participation in urban contexts 

■ assess the challenges to citizen participation in co-creation in diverse urban contexts

■ identify the underlying principles and objectives in recent co-creation projects in Rome and cases in the academic literature

■ demonstrate an ability to engage with government and citizen groups in Rome

■ demonstrate the ability to work in multi-disciplinary and multi-national student groups

■ devise a persuasive group oral presentation analysing a co-creation project

■ construct a well written and critically informed report on key aspects of co-creation in urban contexts.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.