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Open Participatory Design and Digital Tools for Inclusive & Resilient Development

Online Digital Workshop

15th June 2020; from 8:00 to 14:00 (COL) / from 15:00 to 21:00 (CEST)

Deadline for expressions of interest: 5th of June 2020 (Extended)


As part of the:

16th Biennial Participatory Design Conference (PDC)

And in conjunction with the:

19th Festival International de la Imagen




This online virtual workshop explores how open participatory design processes and digital tools can be effectively used for making local and urban development more inclusive and resilient in an emerging post-pandemic world.

During three virtual sessions in a one-day event, participants from around the globe are invited to jointly reflect on the impacts on vulnerability and on the quality of life in local contexts faced with the changing circumstances, e.g., fast urbanization, climate change or epidemic events. More specifically, the participants are invited to explore how open participatory design processes, as urban living labs, can enable bottom-up participation and community agency to enhance sustainable and resilient urban development processes. Additionally, we will discuss the potential of digital platforms and tools for inclusive development and capacity building in community-based contexts, whilst considering the limitations of physical distancing.

The Workshop’s dynamic is based on virtual co-creation methods that will encourage participants to collaboratively write and discuss their ideas. The outcome will serve as basic information for conceptualizing a peer-reviewed academic book published via open access sources, e.g., TU Wien Academic Press. This scientific publication will be edited by the workshop’s organizers and will be related to the overarching topic of resilient development and digital transformations in times of rapidly changing conditions.



Global trends, especially those related to climate change, epidemic events, such as the ongoing Covid-19, and fast processes of urbanization, bring new challenges related to: i) urban and local development planning, and ii) effective community participation in decision-making processes.

These trends are changing the quality of life at local scales, increasing socio-ecological vulnerabilities at meso-scales, and producing further socioeconomic inequalities at macro-scales. Due to the complexity and changing circumstances of these trends, communities and planning stakeholders require inclusive and integrated strategies fostering resilience as a pre-condition for sustainable development.

Therefore, it is crucial to investigate how real-time experiences and local knowledge can be used and integrated effectively alongside expert knowledge in planning and decision-making processes in order to adapt to changing circumstances.


Goal and questions

The main goal of the workshop is to bring together scholars, public officials, practitioners and interested citizens to envision transformational digital and open participatory strategies that can contribute to comprehensive resilient local development, whilst integrating multiple voices. Furthermore, the workshop is serving as a multidisciplinary platform to conceptualize a book with about 12 scientific contributions in, e.g., TU Wien Academic Press

Specifically, the workshop explores the potentials and opportunities that open participatory design methodologies, as Urban Living Labs, bring to foster effective community participation, leverage and enhance collective intelligence and promote social cohesion.

Furthermore, this workshop aims to explore how new digital tools can be used for bringing professional expertise and local knowledge together, and how to apply it in planning and decision-making processes, which follow the goal of comprehensive resilience. These interrelations are being examined with the following questions:


•     How can technical innovations meet urban challenges effectively and adaptively, and how can they enhance urban and regional resilience?

•     How can technical innovations produce and integrate expert and local knowledge in a participatory manner?

•     How planning processes can be designed to use real-time experiences and local knowledge as an innovative planning tool?




This workshop invites a transdisciplinary audience engaged and interested in reflecting about open participatory processes, in the use of digital tools supporting and encouraging bottom-up participation and in the design and use of urban Living labs, from a Socio-Ecologic Systems and Resilience Perspectives.

Therefore, this online digital workshop is designed to bring together scholars and non-academic practitioners as city and planning public officials, NGO’s, private professionals and interested citizens to co-create with relevant evidences as a base for future publications. We expect participants from diverse and complementary disciplinary backgrounds as social sciences, environmental humanities, geography, urban and regional planning, architecture, design, media and communications studies, informatics and any other related field.


Recruitment procedure

If you are interested in participating, please send  an intention letter including: a short description of your relevant professional and/or research practice in max 200 words, and, a motivation statement related to the workshop´s objectives outlining your interests, questions, aims and/or insights in max 500 words. These documents can be submitted in English or Spanish, to Santiago Sanchez Guzman (santiago.guzman(at) and to Leonardo Parra Agudelo (leonardo.parra(at)


Expressions of interest for participating in the workshop are open until JUNE 5th, 2020.

Notifications of acceptance will be sent by JUNE 8th 2020.

Applications will be reviewed by the workshop organisers for relevance.


Fee and Registration

For information regarding the fee for participation please go to the PDC Conference website . However, depending on your situation, we are able to consider differential fees so you can participate in our workshop. Please contact directly Santiago Sanchez Guzman (santiago.guzman(at) and/or Leonardo Parra Agudelo (leonardo.parra(at) for more information about it.



Workshop’s Languages

The official languages of the workshop are English and Spanish, thus, we invite and encourage Spanish speaking participants to apply and write their contributions for the workshop in Spanish.

All introductory presentations in the workshop will be in English, but further clarifications and explanations can be provided in Spanish if needed.


Idiomas del Workshop

Los idiomas oficiales del workshop son inglés y español, por lo que invitamos especialmente a los participantes de habla española a enviar sus cartas de interés, así como a escribir su contribución durante el workshop en español.

Todas las presentaciones durante la introducción del Workshop serán realizadas en inglés, pero se podrán realizar aclaraciones y/o explicaciones en español de ser necesarias.


Workshop schedule*

The workshop is structured to encourage participants to reflect and co-create through three interdependent sessions that will take place from 8:00 to 14:00hrs COL, 15:00 - 21:00hrs CEST, on the 15th June 2020.

15:00 - 16:30 CEST

8:00 - 9:45 COL

Working Session One: 90 Minutes


- Introduction of the workshop´s topic and objectives

- Participants introduction

- Short introduction into agenda, and expected outcomes

- Comments, Q&A

16:30 to 17:00 CEST

9:30 to 10:00 COL

Pause 30 min

17:00 to 19:00 CEST

10:00 to 12:00 COL

Working Session Two: 120 Minutes


- Keynote presentation on resilience - Digital technology - open participatory

  design processes

- Questions session

- Interactive activity

- Writing session


19:00 to 19:30 CEST

12:00 to 12:30 COL

Pause 30 min

19:30 to 21:00 CEST

12:30 to 14:00 COL

Working Session Three: 90 Minutes


- Participants presentation of own ideas/abstracts and short discussion

- Conclusions and final remarks

- Planning next steps for the publication




CEST: Central European Summer Time,

COL: Colombian Time, GMT-5

*Whilst we will try to maintain the structure of the workshop as presented here, some changes might be implemented depending on the availability of resources.



Vienna University of Technology (TU Wien)

Department of Spatial Planning

Centre of Urban and Regional Studies (SRF)

•    Rudolf Giffinger, Univ. Prof. Mag. Dr. 

•    Antonija Bogadi, Dr. MSc. Arch.

•    Santiago Sanchez Guzman, MSc. Arch.

Universidad de los Andes (Bogotá, Colombia)

Faculty of Architecture and Design

•     Leonardo Parra-Agudelo, Dr. MFA. IDB.




Online Digital Platform: details to be informed soon


15 June 2020


from 8:00 to 14:00 (COL) / 15:00 to 21:00 (CEST)

Expressions of interests by

June 5th 2020

Notifications of acceptance

June 8th 2020


Enquiries and submissions

santiago.guzman(at) and leonardo.parra(at)

Workshop and conference registration



Relevant Literature


[1]          Bergvall-Kåreborn, B. and Ståhlbröst, A. (2009b) Living Lab: An Open and Citizen-Centric Approach for Innovation. International Journal of Innovation and Regional Development. 1. 356-370. 10.1504/IJIRD.2009.022727.

[2]          Davoudi, S., Keith Shaw , L. Jamila Haider , Allyson E. Quinlan, Garry D. Peterson , Cathy Wilkinson , Hartmut Fünfgeld , Darryn McEvoy , Libby Porter & Simin Davoudi (2012) Resilience: A Bridging Concept or a Dead End? “Reframing” Resilience: Challenges for Planning Theory and Practice Interacting Traps: Resilience Assessment of a Pasture Management System in Northern Afghanistan Urban Resilience: What Does it Mean in Planning Practice? Resilience as a Useful Concept for Climate Change Adaptation? The Politics of Resilience for Planning: A Cautionary Note, Planning Theory & Practice, 13:2, 299-333, DOI: 10.1080/14649357.2012.677124

[3]          Giffinger, R. (2019) Smart City: the importance of innovation and planning. In Helfert, M., Klein, C., Donellan, B. and Gusikhin, O. (2019) Smartgreens, Vehicle Technology and Intelligent Transport Systems. 13 pages, Springer: Switzerland. (publishing in progress).

[4]          Kolehmainen, J., Irvine, J., Stewart, L., Karacsonyi, Z., Szabó, T., Alarinta, J. and Norberg, N. (2016) Quadruple Helix, Innovation and the Knowledge-Based Development: Lessons from Rural and Less-Favoured Regions. Journal of Knowledge Economy (2016) 7:23–42; DOI 10.1007/s13132-015-0289-9.

[5]          Komninos, N., Kakderi, C., Panori, A: & Tsarchopoulos, P. (2018): Smart City Planning from an Evolutionary Perspective, Journal of Urban Technology, DOI: 10.1080/10630732.2018.1485368.

[6]          Lévy, P. (1997) Collective Intelligence – Mankind’s emerging world in Cyberspace. Cambridge, Mass.: Perseus Books.

[7]          Schaffers, H., Komninos, N., Pallot, M., Aguas, M., Almirall, E., Bakici, T., Barroca, J., Carter, D., Corriou, M., Fernandez, J., Hielkema, H., Kivilehto, A., Nilsson, M., Oliveira, A., Posio, E., Sällström, A., Santoro, R., Senach, B., Torres, I., Tsarchopoulos, P., Trousse, B., Turkama, P. and Lopez Ventura, J. (2012): Smart Cities as Innovation Ecosystems sustained by Future Internet. Technical Report (2012) (30th of June, 2018).

[8]          Meerow, Sara. et al. (2016) Defining urban resilience: A review. Landscape and Urban Planning. Volume 147, March 2016, Pages 38–49.