Transdisciplinary approach

The conditions posed by Mistra Urban Futures required us to employ a transdisciplinary approach, which we have experienced as both important and exciting. Having a transdisciplinary focus is often described as cooperating not only between different academic disciplines, but also with employees in, e.g., municipal and regional government.

To help us with this, we have had a reference group of participants from various institutional platforms. The aim has not only been to get their views on the project design and results, but also to discuss knowledge dissemination and possibilities for implementation.

Our transdisciplinary working methods have not just meant collaboration. They have also implied us to begin sharing a view on knowledge that considers everyone – i.e. researchers, municipal employees and residents – knowledge developers, knowledge bearers and knowledge users. This outlook has been an important prerequisite for our work; it has marked the group’s working methods and made the work both exciting and rewarding, though it has also meant some difficulties. To overcome some problems, in the project group we used a tool that promotes democracy in meetings, something that turned out to be very constructive. Our experiences of transdisciplinary methods are described in the English language anthology Mistra Urban Futures will publish in 2012. The chapter can be found and downloaded under the Publications tab.