Role of Researchers in City-Making Processes

A critical assessment

On March 23rd 2023, on Resilient Delta’s symposium on Transdisciplinary Research - Breaking Barriers and Building Delta Resilience Together - Design & Public presented preliminary insights of their research on their own role in attempts to engage citizens in city-making processes. We stated that in its current systemic form, academic reseachers can hardly make positive societal impact. For a respectful, reciprocal and meaningful relationship between researcher and citizens in order to make lasting impact, we argued, universities/knowledge institutions should:

  • Fundementally change their systems of funding, validation and accreditation;
  • Engage in sustainable processes with the ultimate aim to foster local multiple value creation (society first rather than international ranking, business interests, etc.);
  • Emphasise collaboration, transdisciplinarity and collectivity.