Chapter 14 From ‘book container’ to community centre
Collective Action, Social Learning and Transdisciplinary Research
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The case study discussed in this chapter concerns the design and development of a community centre in the disadvantaged neighbourhood of Gellerup located in the city of Aarhus in Denmark. The case illustrates that it is possible for formal public institutions to be creatively and socially innovative and bridge the gap between bureaucratic modes of organization and the human needs and social relations of marginalized people. It is an example of a creative institutional set-up that supports citizen empowerment and advocacy for the neighbourhood and represents an alternative to mainstream new public management modes of organizing public sector institutions. Community Center Gellerup (CCG) was initiated by a local public library branch, community workers and local civil society organizations (CSOs) with the objective of developing a multifunctional community centre uniting library services, health promotion and a counselling service for ethnic minorities, the latter being the majority among the local residents.

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