Using social media and mobile technologies to foster engagement and self-organization in participatory urban planning and neighbourhood governance

Reinout Kleinhans*, Maarten Van Ham, Jennifer Evans-Cowley

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalSpecial issuepeer-review

    94 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    This editorial explores the potential of social media and mobile technologies to foster citizen engagement and participation in urban planning. We argue that there is a lot of wishful thinking, but little empirically validated knowledge in this emerging field of study. We outline key developments and pay attention to larger societal and political trends. The aim of this special issue is: 1) To offer a critical state-of-the-art overview of empirical research; and 2) to explore whether social media and mobile technologies have measurable effects on citizens' engagement beyond traditional mobilization and participation tools. We find that wider engagement only ‘materializes’ if virtual connections also manifest themselves in real space through concrete actions, by using both online and offline engagement tools. Another requirement is that planners do not seek to marginalize dissenting voices in order to promote the interests of powerful developers.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)237-247
    Number of pages11
    JournalPlanning Practice and Research
    Volume30
    Issue number3
    Early online date22 Jul 2015
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2015

    Keywords

    • Social media
    • Mobile technologies
    • Citizen engagement
    • Self-organization
    • Participatory planning

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