University of Oulu

Rönkkö, E.; Herneoja, A. Working across Boundaries in Urban Land Use and Services Planning—Building Public Sector Capabilities for Digitalisation. Smart Cities 2021, 4, 767-782.

Working across boundaries in urban land use and services planning : building public sector capabilities for digitalisation

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Author: Rönkkö, Emilia1; Herneoja, Aulikki1
Organizations: 1School of Architecture, University of Oulu, P.O. Box 4100, 90014 Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.6 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute, 2021
Publish Date: 2021-07-05


This article addresses the challenges and capability gaps confronted by public administrations concerning digital transformation and the use of novel tools in the context of land use, facilities and urban services planning. The present state of planning and management processes in Finland is introduced and reflected through experimental piloting conducted in two Finnish cities. Participatory action research and design research methodology was utilised to identify the main challenges as well as unravel the possibilities of digital transformation in the context of public services planning. The resulting analysis revealed the critical importance of facilitating integrative policies and coordination when working across knowledge boundaries between administrative domains. The paper contributes to a wider theoretical and conceptual understanding, as it discusses the advantages and feasibility of digital tools as boundary objects for cross-sectoral work in smart, people-centred urban governance. The authors see this direction of research as a fruitful ground for further investigations within the interdisciplinary urban planning research context.

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Series: Smart cities
ISSN: 2624-6511
ISSN-E: 2624-6511
ISSN-L: 2624-6511
Volume: 4
Issue: 2
Pages: 767 - 782
DOI: 10.3390/smartcities4020039
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 211 Architecture
Funding: The authors declare no financial dependencies related to the writing process or content of this article. A.H. has received Academy of Finland research project funding (grant number [anonymised]).
Copyright information: © 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (