BEGIN cases presented at TRANSIT Social Innovation Final Conference

29 September 2017 - Published by Ellen Kelder

Attendees of a fully booked workshop at the TRANSIT Learning for Change conference were presented with the BEGIN project. Social innovation experts from the Erasmus University Rotterdam facilitated the BEGIN workshop and representatives from Dordrecht presented their pilot to demonstrate some of the real-world impacts of social innovation on infrastructure and urban planning.


For the final conference of the TRANSITresearch project, exploring Transformative Social Innovation Theory, 200 attendees; including researchers, case stakeholders, and public sector policy makers; discussed the outcomes of the research and presented their case studies.


The BEGIN project has implemented social innovation theory as way to present climate adaptation efforts to the public, and involve them in the planning and maintenance of blue green infrastructure, such as parks, canals and green spaces. The BEGIN case was unique in that it was the only one presented, at the conference, on Urban Planning.


The BEGIN cases were presented in a workshop, where participants were able to hear about the successes and learning experiences of utilising social innovation in urban planning. The group was then split into four teams and had to discuss the various benefits and difficulties of using social innovation, from different perspectives. In a plenary, the group had to share their views and vote for the more convincing arguments.


The importance of social innovation theory to the BEGIN pilots is a part of the project’s charm; it directly involves the citizens who will be using the blue-green spaces in the development of the pilots, converting stakeholders into shareholders. This means that citizens not only enjoy the spaces, but take ownership of them and contribute to the maintenance and development of the spaces. The result is that citizens were able to contribute to their city and not only make it more resilient to extreme weather, but enjoyable and liveable, too.