Take discussions where people are: Engaging local virtual groups in a participatory process

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Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
School of Arts, Design and Architecture | Master's thesis
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Date
2021
Department
Major/Subject
Mcode
Degree programme
Master’s Programme in Urban Studies and Planning
Language
en
Pages
51+3
Series
Abstract
A communicative turn in planning theory brought a more comprehensive public engagement in urban planning. Alas, participatory processes are associated with high time and resource costs both for planners and the public. Moreover, they challenge the utilisation of participatory practice in projects on a tight budget, for example, in projects dealing with cultural heritage. At the same time, digital platforms, offered as a probable solution to ease public access to the discussion, fell short in enabling a genuinely collaborative dynamic, which is needed in dealing with such multifaced topics like heritage sites in a built environment. Thus, the objective of this research was to conceptualise a collaborative virtual platform to support participation in urban planning and development processes, which deal with cultural and heritage sites. The design research methodology was utilised to focus on what could be done and allow the co-creation of the platform with end-users. Empirical data were collected in four cross-case studies by semi-structured interviews with expert practitioners involved in them. This data was utilised to analyse task-technology fit between platform and planning tasks that experts in cultural heritage and planning have. Research showed interest among the expert community in digital instruments that may ease public participation in cultural heritage. However, such aspects of platform design as minimisation of authority, anonymity, constant open-ended discussion have been met with caution.
Description
Supervisor
Hewidy, Hossam
Thesis advisor
Eräranta, Susa
Keywords
participation, collaborative, rationality, digital, social, capital, neighbourship, e-participation
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