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Urban planning, public participation and digital technology: App development as a method of generating citizen involvement in local planning processes

Wilson, A; Tewdwr-Jones, M; Comber, R; (2019) Urban planning, public participation and digital technology: App development as a method of generating citizen involvement in local planning processes. Environment and Planning B: Urban Analytics and City Science , 46 (2) pp. 286-302. 10.1177/2399808317712515. Green open access

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Abstract

There has been a recent shift in England towards empowering citizens to shape their neighbourhoods. However, current methods of participation are unsuitable or unwieldy for many people. In this paper, we report on ChangeExplorer, a smart watch application to support citizen feedback, to investigate the extent to which digital wearables can address barriers to participation in planning. The research contributes to both technology-mediated citizen involvement and urban planning participation methods. The app leverages in-situ, quick interactions encouraging citizens to reflect and comment on their environment. Taking a case study approach, the paper discusses the design and deployment of the app in a local planning authority through interviews with 19 citizens and three professional planners. The paper discusses the potential of the ChangeExplorer app to address more conceptual issues, and concludes by assessing the degree to which the technology raises awareness of urban change and whether it could serve as a gateway to more meaningful participatory methods.

Type: Article
Title: Urban planning, public participation and digital technology: App development as a method of generating citizen involvement in local planning processes
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1177/2399808317712515
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1177/2399808317712515
Language: English
Additional information: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License (http://www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) which permits any use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access pages (https://us.sagepub.com/en-us/nam/open-access-at-sage).
Keywords: Planning participation, digital applications, wearables, local democracy, citizen involvement, technology
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10119923
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