A blueprint for empowering residents and revitalising Central Baltic neighbourhoods

CADDIES developed methods and tools that communties can use to help residents collaborate and improve their neighbourhoods. Residents in Finland, Sweden and Latvia have benefited from the project’s grassroots work to make their neighbourhoods more attractive and inclusive.

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CADDIES collected residents' opinions about a park located in the middle of the Ljura neighbourhood of Norrköping, Sweden. In the exercise, people could label the areas they didn’t like in red and areas they liked in green. @ CADDIES CADDIES collected residents' opinions about a park located in the middle of the Ljura neighbourhood of Norrköping, Sweden. In the exercise, people could label the areas they didn’t like in red and areas they liked in green. @ CADDIES

" We learned a lot about new methods to create local connections and networks – knowledge which we still benefit from today as a local development actor. Many of the local initiatives are still alive, which is really satisfying of course! "

Anna Kanervo, CADDIES Project Leader

How to motivate local groups and residents to take a more active role in developing their neighbourhoods – and empower them to take ownership of the process? The barriers include inadequately defined roles for voluntary work in local development or weak connections between residents and municipal authorities.

The cross-border project CADDIES addressed such challenges by piloting initiatives in six neighbourhoods across cities in Finland, Sweden and Latvia. The project deployed tools to motivate residents to volunteer and collaborate in improving their own houses, blocks or neighbourhoods in sustainable ways, says project leader Anna Kanervo of Hyresbostäder i Norrköping in Sweden. They aimed to improve their living conditions and develop more inclusive communties.

The pilot activities in each neighbourhood served as a valuable test of the project’s concepts, methods and tools. The lessons learned were then packaged together in manuals as guidelines to help other communties achieve their own neighbourhood improvement goals.

Grassroots participation 

The target neighbourhoods were Pohjois-Haaga, Kannelmäki, and Arabianranta-Toukola-Vanhakaupunki/Artova in Helsinki; Latgales priekspilsēta in Riga; and Ljura and Ringdansen in Norrköping. The project’s three Baltic partners are actively involved in these  neighbourhoods and familar with the needs of their residents.

Through CADDIES, they developed methods to help community groups in each area form a common vision, set goals, develop strategies and implement them in their neighbourhoods. These plans were then linked into general city development as a way to improve collaboration between inhabitants, city officials and other local actors. To help them, CADDIES also strengthened local communication networks and implemented culturally suitable methods and tools. 

As a result, the number of volunteer groups and participants acting for the common well-being of their neighbourhoods has increased, says Kanervo.

From plan to action

These models and tools are detailed in three manuals. Other communities and partner organisations can use these as roadmaps to strengthen collaboration with local authorities, develop functional communication structures, and boost citizen participation in neighbourhood improvement.

Tests of a mobile application, GeoNotes, allowed the project to develop a pilot platform as a means to ensure that all groups and residents have access to important local information. Project partners can adapt the platform to meet specific local needs.


Total investment and EU funding

Total investment for the project “Creating attractive, developed and dynamic societies together with inhabitants” was EUR 1 240 190, of which the EU’s European Regional Development Fund contributed EUR 958 450 through the operational programme “Central Baltic INTERREG IV A” for the 2007-2013 programming period.


Draft date

09/11/2016