Student project

e-Participation for Urban Development Projects

This thesis is concerned with the practical results of the use of electronic tools as a means of gathering public input for urban development projects. Of particular interest was the capacity of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) to improve levels of public engagement in urban development, within a context of declining democratic participation throughout the developed world. To this end, a questionnaire was distributed to project leaders of urban developments in a diverse set of cities, asking them to comment on the successes and failures of the e-participation processes they experienced. In conjunction with the relevant literature on urban development and civic engagement, the questionnaire results show both the potential and the limitations of the use of ICT tools in contemporary cities. While those surveyed were generally satisfied with the results of e-participation initiatives, noting a wider variety of contributions, they did share a common disappointment with the generally low numbers of participants. However there were reasons to be optimistic that levels of participation will improve along with improvements to methodology, and citizen habit formation.

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