© MA 21/Christian Fürthner

Co-creative Planning

Ideas for advancing Vienna’s participatory and co-operative culture

Vienna has a long-standing tradition of civic participation. Political and social change and altered planning goals, however, demand the constant further development of participatory planning towards stakeholder management and co-creation. Urban Innovation Vienna conducted a series of studies tackling this issue.


Participation has become a substantial quality of planning and democracy at large. Despite a variety of well-tested formats, a changing society and new development challenges call for further development of the established participation agenda.


On behalf of the City of Vienna and together with the responsible planners, involved citizens and developers, Future Cities engaged in a critical reflection on eight recent participatory projects in Vienna. A special focus was on the use of digital communication tools in the course of these processes. With reference to international experiences, the ambivalence between their potentials for new modes of participation and co-operation on the one hand and various related risks on the other hand were discussed.


In 2018 and 2019, the team of Future Cities conducted a review of the “open innovation” concept and evaluated its relevance for Vienna’s urban development. This study includes a review of different theoretical concepts and an analysis of selected international open-innovation strategies implemented by other major cities as well as by leading creative and tech companies. Their operating principles were scrutinised and compared with a number of open-innovation processes and initiatives in urban development that had already been underway at that time. A special focus was placed on co-creative methods, ranging from living labs to crowd innovation approaches or co-creation events.


This allowed carving out some of the core elements and success factors for open-innovation processes and a range of potential instruments and approaches to participatory planning, co-creative urban development and open innovation in urban governance with a number of concrete, recent and scalable examples for Vienna


MA 18 – Municipal Department of Urban Development and Urban Planning of the City of Vienna

MA 21 – Municipal Department of District Planning and Land Use of the City of Vienna


2017 – 2019