Actors and their roles in the co-creation of Public Open Space

Authors: Barbara Goličnik Marušić, Ina Šuklje Erjavec, Vita Žlender

Despite the agreement in the academic literature that co-creation is a collective creative endeavour (Arnstein, 1969), we believe that the role of citizens and that of professionals differ.

With regard to the roles of citizens, Goličnik Marušić and Šuklje Erjavec (in press) elaborate on three diverse roles of the citizens as co-implementers, co-designers, and co-initiators, of which, only the co-initiator is highly involved in various steps of the contemporary planning process.

With regard to the roles of professionals, scholars use different terms to denote them, ranging from the role of initiator, metadesigner, negotiator, involver and enthusiast (see e.g. Eggertsen Teder, 2019; Vandael et al., 2018).

These roles might overlap with those identified in other literature as facilitator (e.g. Vandael et al., 2018) or a mediator (Goličnik Marušić & Šuklje Erjavec, in press). Different terms used might be a reason for the confusion and the uncomprehensive overview of roles.

Nevertheless, it is clear that the co-creation process needs structure and clearly defined roles, yet it should also remain open to individual suggestions and approaches to enhance the creativity of all parties involved and facilitate constructive problem solving.

We elaborated on the roles in Figure 2.

Figure 2: Roles of actors in the co-creation within the POS development process


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