Maarit Kahila Hannu Stewart

Scaling Up Inclusivity with Digital Citizen Engagement

A Talk by Maarit Kahila and Hannu Stewart

About this Talk

Although citizen engagement and public consultations are now widely accepted methods of enhancing the democratic aims of urban development and policymaking, certain challenges remain.

City planners and local governments lack usable and scalable tools for reaching broader groups of participants. Without these tools, participation can turn into a small elitist activity. Also, the quality and utilisation of the knowledge produced during these consultations are problematic: the collected data remains invisible and systematic analysis is often not realised.

This talk presents several cases where digital tools are employed to build smarter communication and inclusive community engagement in cities and rural areas where the demand for interaction among people and various stakeholders is growing.

The talk will uncover citizen engagement in Green belt projects as well as for land-use conflict resolution. Maarit and Hannu will also discuss how the City of Vantaa (Finland) increased transparency and good governance, boosted resident satisfaction, and secured broader reach and inclusion of otherwise underrepresented groups in participation around the city’s future.

Session take-aways.

From this talk, you will learn how to:

  • Achieve socio-spatial justice by reaching a broad spectrum of people and produce high-quality and versatile knowledge with engagement tools.
  • Understand communication and engagement strategies and how they can promote inclusivity, sustainability, and participation in an online environment.
  • Identify digital community engagement solutions that promote engagement in discussions of complex societal issues.

14 March 2023, 10:00 AM

10:00 AM - 10:30 AM

About The Speakers

Maarit Kahila

Maarit Kahila

CEO & Co-founder, Maptionnaire

Maarit Kahila has decades of expertise in citizen engagement as an academic and practitioner. She holds a PhD in urban planning from Aalto university and is CEO and co-founder of Maptionnaire, a citizen engagement platform enabling cities, local governments, and consultancies to easily collect local insights and make GIS-backed decisions.


Hannu Stewart

Hannu Stewart

Head of Sales, Maptionnaire