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The Action Research Collective 

The Action Research Co-operative is an innovation of SMLIP’s ESRC Urban Transformations project, Jam and Justice. The ARC brings 18 academics, civil society organisations, citizens, community activists, policy makers and organisers together for two main purposes:

  • To test and learn about the theory and practice of coproducing research
  • To test and learn about the effectiveness of different mechanisms to increase citizen participation in urban decision-making.

The research is largely funded by the ESRC with co-funding from Mistra Urban Futures, particularly for the comparative programme of work and public engagement programme.

2017: Establishment of the Action Research Cooperative; codesign process to select action research projects to test and learn about participatory urban governance; including:

  • Citizen participation in energy governance
  • Citizen participation in procurement policy
  • Citizen participation in spatial planning frameworks
  • Citizen participation in social innovation
  • Neuro-diverse pathways to participation
  • Non-formal pathways to participation with young people
  • From non-voting to participation beyond the ballot box
  • Local councillors and grassroots democracy

In addition, definition of three supportive programmes of work – 1) a programme of work to support cultural change within urban governance institutions “Public Sector Change” programme 2) development of an initiative to create an engaged coalition of citizens committed to greater participatory cities “Participate!”; 3) crowdsourcing initiative using digital technologies to develop a “Pathways to Participation” plan.

Project members

  • Beth Perry

    Professor Beth Perry is the Director of the Sheffield Manchester Local Interaction Platform for Mistra Urban Futures.

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Bertie Russell

Bertie is a Research Associate in the Urban Institute and works on the ESRC Jam & Justice Project and as part of the international MISTRA Urban Futures.