ArticlePDF Available

Abstract and Figures

A renewed interest has appeared in citizen co-production of public services due to financial pressure on governments. While social media are considered an important facilitator, many digital participatory platforms (DPPs) have been developed to facilitate co-production between citizens and governments in the context of urban development. Previous studies have delivered a fragmented overview of DPPs in a few socio-spatial contexts and failed to take stock of the rise of DPPs. This article aims to provide a more comprehensive picture of the availability and functionalities of DPPs. Through a systematic review, 113 active DPPs have been identified, analysed, and classified within a citizen-government relationship typology. Almost a quarter of these DPPs demonstrate a realistic potential for online and offline co-production between governments and citizens. The article critically analyses the characteristics of these DPPs and explores their real-world applications in urban development. The article concludes with directions for further research.
Content may be subject to copyright.
DOI: 10.4018/IJEPR.2018070105
Volume 7 • Issue 3 • July-September 2018
This article published as an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License
( which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and production in any medium,
provided the author of the original work and original publication source are properly credited.
Enzo Falco, Department OTB Research for the Built Environment, Delft University of Technology, Delft, The Netherlands
Reinout Kleinhans, Department OTB Research for the Built Environment, Delft University of Technology, Delft, The Netherlands
A renewed interest has appeared in citizen co-production of public services due to financial pressure
on governments. While social media are considered an important facilitator, many digital participatory
platforms (DPPs) have been developed to facilitate co-production between citizens and governments
in the context of urban development. Previous studies have delivered a fragmented overview of DPPs
in a few socio-spatial contexts and failed to take stock of the rise of DPPs. This article aims to provide
a more comprehensive picture of the availability and functionalities of DPPs. Through a systematic
review, 113 active DPPs have been identified, analysed, and classified within a citizen-government
relationship typology. Almost a quarter of these DPPs demonstrate a realistic potential for online
and offline co-production between governments and citizens. The article critically analyses the
characteristics of these DPPs and explores their real-world applications in urban development. The
article concludes with directions for further research.
Citizen Engagement, Citizen-Government Relationships, Co-Production, Digital Participatory Platforms, Online
Platforms, Self-Organization, Social Media, Urban Development
Collaboration and participation of citizens in governments’ activities at all levels has received
increasing levels of attention in many disciplinary fields such as public administration and government
studies, urban planning, public service design, computer science, and information technology (e.g.
Bryer & Zavattaro, 2011; Gil de Zúñiga et al., 2010; Linders, 2012; Magro, 2012; Munthe-Kaas
& Hoffmann, 2016; Sanders & Stappers, 2008; Slotterback, 2011; Verschuere et al., 2012). Much
of this attention derives from the potential contribution of new social media, digital platforms and
other ICTs to the interactions between (national and local) governments and citizens. Because of
wider economic trends, welfare state retrenchment, devolution and new knowledge-sharing patterns,
citizens’ demands and governments’ actions increasingly require two-way engagement and closer
collaboration (Kleinhans et al., 2015). A renewed interest has appeared in citizen co-production of
public services, especially in view of the financial pressures currently facing governments around
Volume 7 • Issue 3 • July-September 2018
the world (Linders, 2012; Parrado et al., 2013). Co-production generally refers to the public sector
and citizens making better use of each other’s assets and resources to achieve better outcomes and
improved efficiency (Bovaird & Loeffler, 2012, p. 1121). Co-production is widely regarded as a
“solution to the public sector’s decreased legitimacy and dwindling resources by accessing more
of society’s resources” and as a means “to reinvigorate voluntary participation and social cohesion
in an increasingly fragmented and individualized society” (Brandsen & Honingh, 2016, p. 427). In
line with this stance, mobile applications and platforms created by professional developers through
government challenges, prizes, apps competitions, and hackathons - where governments make their
data available to produce new ideas and solutions - are widespread and common (see e.g. Challenge.
gov; New York City Big Apps; Europe Open Data Challenge, Rotterdam Park Hackathon, San Diego
Apps Challenges, Code for America).
While there is an abundance of literature on the use of social media for citizen-government
relationships (see e.g. Bryer & Zavattaro, 2011; Magro, 2012; Mergel, 2013), this paper focuses on
a more specific type of ICT: digital participatory platforms (DPPs – see Section 2 for definition),
that aim to bring together public and private actors (for example Commonplace, coUrbanize, and
TransformCity) (Ertiö, 2015; Desouza & Bhagwatwar, 2014). While DPPs have a large potential for
facilitating two-way interactions between government and citizens, previous studies highlight that their
application to truly foster interaction, mutual collaboration and co-production of ideas, solutions and
new services has not been so widespread (Afzalan & Evans-Cowley, 2015; Desouza & Bhagwatwar,
2012; Ertiö, 2015; Williamson & Parolin, 2013; Zavattaro & Sementelli, 2014).
However, previous reviews of such platforms tend to be limited to a few specific socio-spatial
contexts like the United States of America or some parts of Europe (Atzmanstorfer & Blaschke, 2013;
Desouza & Bhagwatwar, 2012, 2014; Evans Cowley & Kubinski, 2015), thus resulting in a somewhat
narrow spatial coverage and limited validity of the conclusions beyond these contexts. As Babelon et
al. (2016, p. 2) point out with regard to the related field of Public Participation Geographic Information
Systems (PPGIS), and the same is confirmed for DPPs in general by our systematic review, “it now
seems instead that research is lagging behind the increased deployment of web-based PPGIS in urban
planning and fails to take stock of a flurry of commercially and open-source developed web-based
PPGIS applications.” The most exhaustive review of (mobile-based) DPPs hitherto was carried out
by Ertiö (2015) who included 35 mobile apps from different countries (USA, Australia, Finland,
Hong Kong) even though it may be said to be still limited to purposes such as informing the public
and one-way communication from government to citizens (almost half the sample of Ertiö) and in
terms of spatial and geographical distribution.
Whereas “co-production in the past was constrained by the limited ability of government to
effectively coordinate citizen actions and the difficulty of ordinary citizens to self-organize, the advent
of the Internet’s unique many-to-many interactivity and of ubiquitous communications promises to
enable co-production on an unprecedented scale” (Linders, 2012, p. 446). However, Internet-facilitated
co-production has not been systematically studied yet (Linders, 2012, p. 447; see also Meijer, 2011).
Therefore, this paper has a twofold aim:
1. To provide a more (globally) comprehensive inventory of the availability and development
of DPPS for various engagement purposes, their adoption, and actual use by government and
citizens, ranging from information sharing to consultation and co-production;
2. To identify those DPPs in the inventory that demonstrate the potential for co-production between
governments at various levels and citizens groups, by analysing and discussing their features, the
kinds of problems and issues they are used for, and identifying potential case studies for future
research on technology-enabled co-production.
For these purposes, we have conducted a systematic review for the identification of DPPs using
both academic and practitioner literature, and a Google search in different languages to cover a broader
Volume 7 • Issue 3 • July-September 2018
spectrum of countries around the world. The systematic review first and for all contributes to a much
more comprehensive inventory of DPPs, which meet different purposes and goals and reflect varying
degrees of intensity in the interaction and collaboration between governments and citizens. As such,
this inventory goes beyond and adds to previous reviews of digital platforms for engagement and
collaboration. It identifies examples of DPPs for co-production purposes, along with their essential
technological features and real-world applications, showing the availability and readiness of technology
and paving the way for future research on technology-enabled co-production which should guarantee
new knowledge and understanding of how we can use the available technology more effectively.
However, because there are no hard limits between co-production and other forms and intensities
of government-citizen interactions, the paper starts with a review of the literature on the different
levels of collaboration and engagement between government and citizens that are fostered by DPPs.
From this, a typology of citizen-government relationships is therefore developed in section two as
the basis for the classification of all identified platforms within one of the levels, grounded in a
working definition of DPPs and theoretical foundations of concepts such as co-production. In section
three we present the research design that we have applied for the identification and review of DPPS.
Section four moves on to discuss the results of the systematic review and to classify the platforms on
the basis of the typology as developed in section two. Section five analyses the main elements and
functionalities of the platforms that claim to allow for collaboration and co-production identifying
their distinguishing features. The final section draws conclusions and provides suggestions for
practitioners and for further research.
Digital Participatory Platforms (DPPs) are defined here as a specific type of civic technology explicitly
built for participatory, engagement and collaboration purposes that allow for user generated content
and include a range of functionalities (e.g. analytics, map-based and geo-located input, importing
and exporting of data, ranking of ideas) which transcend and considerably differ from social media
such as Social Networking Sites and Microblogging (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram). DPPs
thus allow for different levels and intensity of citizen engagement and participation. Many authors
have tried to identify the levels of citizens engagement and participation in government activities
through the use of digital technologies (De Souza & Bhagwatwar, 2014; Ertiö, 2015; Evans-Cowley
& Hollander, 2010; Jones et al., 2015; Khan, 2015; Li & Feeney, 2014; Linders, 2012; McMillan,
2002; Mergel, 2013; Suen, 2006; Williamson & Parolin, 2013). Generally, three levels of engagement
with an increasing degree of interaction are identified within the academic literature. They could be
summarised as follows:
Information sharing: One-way communication from government to citizens. McMillan
(2002) calls this Monologues whereas Linders (2012, p. 449) defines this level Government as
a Platform, in which governments equip citizens with data needed to make informed decisions
or design policies/services in a way that maintains freedom of choice, but stimulates a ‘socially
optimal’ option;
Interaction: Two-way communication with dialogue between citizens and government
representatives flowing both ways. McMillan (2002) calls this mutual discourse;
Civic engagement, involvement, collaboration: On this level, the two-way interactions go
beyond basic information exchange to ‘materialise’ in policy measures, joint service delivery or
other interventions. We will refer to this level as co-production, i.e. the public sector and citizens
making better use of each other’s assets and resources to achieve better outcomes and improved
efficiency (Bovaird and Loeffler, 2012, p. 1121).
Volume 7 • Issue 3 • July-September 2018
The Internet facilitates ‘networked co-production’ which emphasises the relationships between
government and communities of citizens, i.e. users and non-users of specific services (Meijer, 2011,
p. 599-600). DPPs can be particularly useful as content can be created in networks and communities,
made available to all members of the community and stored in an accessible format to create an online
repository for virtual communities (ibid., p. 601). As such, citizens and professionals can “bring
different types of knowledge — the one general knowledge of the core (primary) process of the
organization and the production of service, and the other situational or local knowledge” (Brandsen
and Honingh, 2016, p. 430).
Within the co-production level where citizens can identify, discuss problems, and propose
solutions, concepts and practices such as PPGIS, collaborative mapping, Volunteered Geographic
Information (VGI), crowdsourcing, and neo-geography play a fundamental role (Brown & Kytta,
2014; Goodchild, 2007; Silva, 2013; Wilson & Graham, 2013a). PPGIS describes technologies
that aim at supporting public participation in a variety of contexts with the aims of inclusion and
empowerment of marginalised population to inform environmental and urban planning (Babelon et
al., 2016; Brown, 2012; Brown & Kytta, 2014; Panek, 2015). Brown (2012) states that collection of
spatial data in PPGIS methods is agency driven as opposed to Volunteered Geographic Information
(VGI) where citizens and individuals freely contribute their knowledge and information about a
specific part of the city (Adams, 2013; Coleman et al., 2009; Goodchild, 2007). Such practices fall
within the broader conceptualization of ‘neo-geography’ as defined by Wilson and Graham (2013b,
p. 4) who underline that their “use of the word ‘neo-geography’ marks digitally mediated social
practices through explicitly spatialised data/code practices”.
Adding on to the main levels of citizen-government relationship, some authors (e.g. Desouza and
Bhagwatwar, 2014; Ertiö, 2015) identify more levels and sub-levels which further specify the role of,
and information flows between, the actors involved in the citizen-government relationship. Ertiö (2015)
for example identifies consultation as a sub-level of the information sharing level where information
flows one-way from citizens to governments, and criteria power (ability of citizens to determine a
policy or service) and operational power (ability of citizens to determine how a policy or service is
carried out in practice) as the two sub-levels of civic engagement, involvement and collaboration (the
author calls this level empowerment instead of co-production). Interestingly, Desouza and Bhagwatwar
(2014, p. 37), in their four archetypes of technology-enabled participatory platforms, identify the
citizen-centric and citizen-sourced data archetype “as an alternative medium for citizens to organize
themselves to make a difference in their local communities.” Linders (2012) calls this level Do it
Yourself Government where citizens self-organize to achieve their own purposes.
This, in our opinion, should be the ‘top’ level of the citizen-government relationship in which
citizens self-organize to produce solutions. However, at this level there is little or no interaction between
citizens and government and interaction takes place only in cases where choice and implementation
of the solution developed by the citizens still requires some government action, as Desouza and
Bhagwatwar (2014) and Linders (2012) emphasise in their categorisations.
Table 1 summarizes our typology of citizen-government relationship as drawn from international
academic literature.
Despite a growing number of web-based and mobile-based platforms that enable information
sharing and interaction between government and citizens, scholars have highlighted that use of DPPs
is not yet interactive and is not being able to create two-way communication (Williamson & Parolin,
2013; Ertiö, 2015). To a certain extent, this is due to challenges, risks and other factors that influence
government use and citizens adoption of social media and, in particular DPPs (e.g. Bertot et al., 2012;
Casey & Li, 2012; Kavanaugh et al., 2012; Khan et al., 2014; Mergel, 2013; Picazo-Vela et al., 2012;
Williamson & Parolin, 2013). However, building on and trying to expand previous scholarly work,
Volume 7 • Issue 3 • July-September 2018
this paper focuses on the availability of DPPs and on the specific features that characterise them,
and shows that many interaction and co-production platforms have been already developed and are
available and ready to use. Therefore, we have tried to identify a higher number of platforms than
has ever been done before to understand development trends in several countries and contexts and to
classify the platforms within one of different levels of the citizens-government relationship presented
in Table 1. Other classifications are possible and because of this we believe it is essential to provide
the full list of identified DPPs (see Appendix, Tables 3-7) as classified within all of our levels of
the relationship. This will pave the way for future research on DPPs and especially on those that
are classified in the co-production level, regarding their actual use, ability to foster co-production,
involvement of citizens and implementation of ideas and solutions, reasons for success or failure.
Below, we first discuss the research design that resulted into the list of identified DPPs and then
explain how we classified them into the different levels of the citizen-government relationship (see
Appendix, Tables 3-7).
For the identification of relevant DPPs we have employed a step-wise review approach with different
sources. We started from the communitymatters blog ( where a list of
50 tools for online public engagement was available. We checked all the tools that were listed on
the blog to make sure that only those that were still online and accessible were included in our list.
We then searched the literature using the Scopus database to include all articles which discussed
and presented DPPs for the engagement of citizens. We performed our search queries on 2nd, 3rd, and 4th
November 2016 with the keywords (participatory platforms), (collaborative mapping), and (PPGIS) in
the fields “title, abstract and keywords” and limited it to the Social Sciences and Humanities Subject
Areas (more relevant for urban studies, planning and geography) while not setting any Date Range
limit. We did not use any search operator (e.g. AND, OR, “ ”) since this would have narrowed our
search too much.
The keyword (participatory platforms) returned 552 document results, (collaborative mapping)
842 results, and (PPGIS) 114 results. For the keywords (participatory platforms) and (collaborative
mapping), we also performed a manual selection from the search results based on titles. Studies were
included if their title referred to one of the following subjects (government, citizen involvement,
participation, engagement, planning, cities, PPGIS, crowdsourcing) even if the keywords (participatory
platforms) or (collaborative mapping) were not included in the title itself. The documents that were
Table 1. Levels of citizen-government relationship
Levels Sub-Levels
Informing: One-way communication (‘broadcasting’) from government to citizens.
Consulting: One-way communication from citizens to governments.
Interaction Two-way communication with dialogue and feedback between citizens and government
Co-production The public sector and citizens making better use of each other’s assets and resources to achieve
better outcomes and improved efficiency.
Public matters: Citizens create solutions independently that are to be recognised, facilitated or
adopted by governments and require some government action.
Private matters: Citizens share information and self-organize for matters of private interest that may
develop into public demands requiring some government action.
Source: Own Elaboration
Volume 7 • Issue 3 • July-September 2018
deemed interesting from the title were downloaded and analysed further. We selected 54 documents
for (participatory platforms) and 116 for (collaborative mapping). The keyword (PPGIS) returned 114
document results of which 29 had no full text available. We scanned all the remaining 85 articles to
look for platforms mainly in the abstract, introduction, methods and conclusions sections.
Finally, we performed a Google search in different languages to widen the scope and reach of
our research outside the anglophone world for a wider analysis of the trends in the development and
availability of digital applications and platforms. Other than English, platforms were searched in
Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, French and Chinese. We used the national Google search engines for
Italy, Spain, Portugal, Brazil, France and the keywords [public participation platform], [collaborative
mapping platform], and [citizens engagement platforms] as they translate, not literally, to each language
(Table 2). We did search in Spanish in to cover Latin America and Mexico too. As far
as China is concerned, a Chinese PhD student in our department performed the search for us. We
used Google Netherlands and to performe the search and keywords [public participation
platform], [public opinion platform], [community platform]. The search returned hundreds of
thousands of results and we limited our review to the first five result pages for each of the languages
which include more relevant and consulted examples.
We were thus able to cover many more countries than in any previous study. The results of this
systematic review (summarised in Figure 1) aim to provide a very wide review and inventory of
digital collaborative applications and platforms across the world. The list of all platforms identified
through our review is available in the Appendix, Tables 3-7.
Following the approach employed by Desouza and Bhagawatwar (2014), the platforms were
classified within one of the levels of our typology of citizen government relationship (see Section 2)
on the basis of the relationship between the “agents”, the knowledge/information flows among the
agents, and the platforms’ technological features. It is appropriate to focus on these three factors since
they define “…aspects related to the collaborative environment of the platforms […] how outputs
generated on the platform are used by public agencies and/or citizens, and the type of outcomes from
the platform…” (Desouza & Bhagawatwar, 2014, p. 32).
It is important to stress that regarding the informing level we excluded platforms that act as
government portals for information conveyance to citizens, since no actual government-citizens
collaboration, interaction or two-way communication occurs in these portals (e.g. tax, welfare state,
tourist information, public transit, parking information, Web-GIS Portals). As far as the sub-level
private matters of the self-organization level is concerned, we have included only platforms that are
concerned with neighbourhood matters that show potential of becoming related to matters of public
interest within one of the levels of citizen engagement.
The analysis section focuses on DPPs classified as potentially fit for co-production, to fill the gap
within the literature which states that use of DPPs is not yet interactive and is not being able to create
two-way communication. In order to achieve this objective, we reveal which co-production platforms
have been developed, the spatial context in which they have been applied and the characteristics that
Table 2. Keywords used for internet search in six different languages
EN Public participation platforms, Collaborative mapping platform, Citizens engagement platforms
IT Partecipazione pubblica, Strumenti mapping collaborativo, Piattaforme digitali inclusione cittadini
ES Participacion ciudadana, Herramientas mapeo collaborativo, Plataforma digital inclusion ciudadania
PT Participacao civica, Projectos mapeamento colaborativo, plataforma cidadania digital
FR Participation publique, Plateforme cartographique participative, plateforme digitale citoyenne
PRC 公众参与平台, 民心, 社区网
Source: Own Elaboration
Volume 7 • Issue 3 • July-September 2018
distinguish them from other kinds of DPPs. We focus on three elements: i) technological features
which allow to perform certain tasks and reach a high level of engagement; ii) the kinds of problems
and applications they have been used for, and therefore tested upon, which allows to identify empirical
case studies across the world for future research; and iii) the pricing patterns which may compromise
the ability and willingness of government and citizen groups to adopt digital solutions for their co-
production efforts. These elements provide fundamental information for adoption and use of such
platforms by government agencies and citizens and allow to answer some questions such as: what
are users allowed to do with one specific platform? Where and what has it been used for? How
much does it cost? Further research on empirical applications and case studies will answer other and
more detailed questions such as: how did the platform foster idea generation, resource pooling and
discussion between governments and citizens? To what extent have better outcomes and efficiency
been achieved, in relation to the objective?
Based on the research design, we have found a total of 113 digital platforms that classify within the
identified levels of the citizens-government relationship (see Appendix and Figure 2). Our review has
identified platforms from 21 countries around the world (see Figure 3) with the USA (n = 12), the UK
(n = 3), Sweden (n = 3) and The Netherlands (n = 3) showing the higher number of co-productive
platforms (25 in total). Other countries that have developed a co-production platform are Australia,
Finland, France, Kenya. However, our inventory is by no means fully comprehensive and it is highly
likely that many more platforms exist, and further work can expand the current list.
For every platform we provide the name, URL (an extremely important element for future work
by other scholars, guaranteeing replicability), a brief description with main purposes, geographic
coverage (which refers to the country where the platform was developed or headquarters are located
Figure 1. Systematic literature review diagram
Volume 7 • Issue 3 • July-September 2018
and differs considerably from where the platform has been used and applied), pricing, availability
of documented case studies (again, fundamental for future work by other scholars), level of the
citizens-government relationship, and main technological features (see Appendix, Tables 3-7). This
last element, together with real world applications and availability of case studies, is one element upon
which we have determined the specific level within which a platform classifies. More specifically,
the availability of discussion forums, collaborative mapping tools, geotagging and geolocation
tools, reporting functionality, voting and ranking options, submitting and commenting on new
ideas, exporting and analytics are all elements that contribute to make a platform more suitable
Figure 2. Number of platforms per level
Figure 3. Geographical distributions of digital platforms
Volume 7 • Issue 3 • July-September 2018
for co-production purposes. Unlike other studies (e.g. Desouza & Bhagwatwar, 2014), we have not
included a column on information and knowledge flows as this is intrinsic to the levels as explained
in Table 1, Section 2.
From the lists in the Appendix, as highlighted in Section 3, we have excluded those platforms that
act as government portals for information conveyance to citizens within the informing sublevel. This
kind of platforms are nowadays extremely widespread; yet, considering the development of technology
and the aim of this article they are not relevant here since they do not connote a participatory platform
and citizens can only gather and collect information through them. Desouza and Bhagwatwar (2014)
present a wide array of such platforms in their model Citizen-Centric and Government Open Data.
However, we have found four interesting platforms (Civic Insight, OS City, Open City Chicago, and
Tell us Toolkit) that represent exceptions to the more widespread informing platforms and have been
included for their general ability to visualize spatial data, query databases, and inform on different
elements and on different spatial contexts. They therefore differ from municipal Web-GIS portals or
similar services and are worth mentioning.
Consulting platforms (n=22) that require citizens to provide their views, comments and
preferences through consultations and surveys exist but usually sustain no options for the government
to provide feedback, thus lacking an interactive and co-productive potential. Interaction platforms are
the most widespread (n=51) and show the greatest geographical diffusion (e.g. China, Brazil, France,
Ecuador, New Zealand among other countries). Among these, very much widespread are the so-called
reporting platforms (e.g. Fix My Street, Fix Ma Ville, Colab, Get it Done) that facilitate interaction
between citizens and the local government on a specific practical issue to be solved (citizens report
problems and the local government informs them when it has been fixed).
Co-production platforms (n=25) are also quite widespread with many examples from around the
world (e.g. Block by Block, Commonplace, coUrbanize, Crowdmap, Maptionnaire, Urban Interactive
Studio, TransformCity). Thus, these results expand previous studies (Babelon et al., 2016; Desouza
& Bhagwatwar, 2012, 2014; Ertiö, 2015, Evans-Cowley & Kubinski, 2015) and reveal emerging
trends towards developing interactive and co-productive platforms that enable online and offline
outcomes. In the next section we will focus exclusively on co-productive platforms to understand their
technological features, pricing elements, and the kinds of problems and projects that are examined
on these platforms that foster a mode of governance where the roles of citizens and governments
converge towards co-production.
As regards the self-organization platforms (n = 11), we have decided to keep some platforms
that fall within the sub-level private matters since they are more representative of the level itself and
concerned with neighbourhood matters that show potential of becoming related to matters of public
interest (see also Table 1). However, we have excluded many platforms that would classify in this
sub-level which do not seem to be related to matters of public interest (e.g. Craigs’s List, Marktplaats,
Bla Bla Car).
This section focuses exclusively on the identified DPPs that appear to allow for co-production between
(local) governments and a range of stakeholders involving citizens, businesses, and other organizations.
Since our definition of co-production emphasizes joint resource contributions by both the public
sector and citizens, in order to achieve better outcomes (Bovaird and Loeffler, 2012), we classified
DPPs as co-production platforms if they show potential in terms of their characteristics, features and
applications to foster joint resource mobilisation and collaboration between (local) governments and
stakeholders, including joint solutions, designs, delivery schemes and budget priorities for urban
spaces, public facilities, etc. Therefore, redefining how public agencies and urban stakeholders connect,
interact, negotiate and make decisions according to a paradigm of co-production in governance is
of key importance. However, despite the fact that digital technologies and platforms have pervaded
Volume 7 • Issue 3 • July-September 2018
our daily life, many issues and limitations continue to exist and should be taken into account when
using them, such as digital divide (Bertot et al., 2012; Burkhardt et al., 2014; DiMaggio et al., 2004;
Norris, 2001; Pizaco-Vela et al., 2012), costs of technology, data storage and ICT infrastructure,
training, and in terms of learning the new technology.
The interesting geographical pattern of distribution and diffusion of such platforms (see Figure
3) shows that the USA is the main pioneering country in co-productive platforms. This pattern could
perhaps be traced back to the history of community development, planning and engagement that
characterises the USA context more than others (Angotti, 2008; Davidoff, 1965). Given the current
availability of technology, more citizens groups and cities in different countries can now employ
them and undertake efforts for DPP-led co-production.
The following set of co-production platforms (see also Appendix, Tables 3-7) will be discussed in
more detail: Bang the Table–Engagement HQ, Block by Block, Carticipe, Citizinvestor, CityLab010,
CityPlanner, Commonplace, Community Remarks, coUrbanize, Creative Citizens Sticky World,
Crowdbrite, Crowdgauge, Crowdmap, Geojson, Ideascale, Mapping for Change, Map Server,
Maptionnaire, MetroQuest, MiniStad, Neighborland, Shareabouts, TransformCity, Urban Interactive
Studio, Voor Je Buurt.
As explained in Section 3, these platforms will be analysed with regard to their technological
features, the kinds of problems and solutions that are examined and proposed on these platforms,
their real-world applications, where available, and pricing patterns. More in-depth future research is
needed on co-production DPPs and related case studies to identify the nature, outcomes, engagement
processes, and policy implications of co-production platforms.
Digital platforms for co-production purposes sustain a wide variety of features that allow for different
user behaviour and collection of ideas, solutions, knowledge, discussion and collaboration between
public and private actors. Our systematic review has identified all such features that can be summarised
as follows: opinion maps, surveys, discussion forums, budget allocation, simulation design, voting
and ranking of ideas, analytics, map-based and geo-located inputs for collaborative mapping such
as comments, pins, and other geographical features, crowdfunding, exporting in different formats
for further analysis (shape files, csv, kml), importing and media uploading, sharing on other social
networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter. The simultaneous availability of many of such
features is a fundamental element to classify a platform as fit for co-production. It is interesting to
notice that co-production platforms build on many and different features that are available for other
platforms by including them in one single platform. The most commonly-found features that represent
the more essential ones for co-production are: collaborative mapping, map-based comments and
ideas submission, voting and ranking options, media uploads, and analytics. The identification of
technological features that characterise and connote co-production DPPs allows to clearly distinguish
them from platforms which have other engagement purposes while at the same time highlighting
what is needed, and what has already been developed, in terms of technology in order to be able to
co-produce actively. This, in turn, provides government agencies, citizens and stakeholders in general
with relevant information to choose a platform for co-production and collaboration purposes.
A fundamental feature of the co-production platforms is the spatial map-based visualization of
issues, initiatives, and projects at stake that allows citizens to comment upon, design and co-produce
new options and alternatives in a geo-located way and with specific reference to the spatial context.
The map-based and geo-visualization tools have important implications for engagement practices
since they allow participants to be more specific and accurate in both the discussion and solutions of
problems, providing them with an intuitive way of representing issues, objects and solutions. This
is fundamental in consideration of the real-world contexts and purposes to which they are applied,
as discussed in the next subsection. These tools are able to increase the understanding of the issues
Volume 7 • Issue 3 • July-September 2018
at stake, feasibility of solutions, and the spatial relationship between different elements and parts of
the spatial context (Marzouki et al., 2017).
This, together with a built-in option for analytics (e.g. number of votes, ideas, participants, spatial
analysis), is the main feature that distinguishes co-production platforms from platforms within other
levels and for engagement purposes. Important examples of platforms with a user-friendly interface
for a map-based feature are Maptionnaire, Carticipe, Commonplace, Transformcity, and Bang the
Table. Special mention is for two DPPs that appear to be particularly interesting. The first one is
Block by Block whose features allow citizens to create and design parts of their city simulating in a 3D
environment what the new solution will look like. This is an outstanding example of how platforms
can engage citizens in the effort of designing new solutions for public places. The second example is
the Geojson platform for collaborative mapping that is based on open source technology and allows
users to map, add properties and information, share their maps and ideas with other users, and export
them into different formats for further analysis. There are other examples of open source platforms
(Crowdgauge, Crowdmap, Map Server, Shareabouts) which represent an important opportunity for
citizen groups and governments to collaborate without having to bear extra costs for the technology.
Co-productive platforms are being applied to find solutions to several kinds of problems within the
context of real world applications. However, there is a common denominator among all of the digital
co-production platforms’ case studies that we have analysed as part of our systematic review: the
environment and places we live in and use in our daily life, be them urban, rural, coastal, with a specific
use such as a bus station or a public open space such as a square. The focus is on co-producing with
citizens, sharing ideas and solutions that can enhance the way such places are used and enjoyed in
order to improve their lives and answer their needs.
The real-world applications can be of two distinct types: the first one is more practical, small
scale and oriented towards redesigning a specific, spatially-bound object or service, such as a market,
a university campus, a bus station, or a park. The second type has more the nature of future-oriented
policy making or planning related to the production of a general planning vision for the city wherein
citizens co-produce ideas in the fields of pedestrian and cycling mobility, cultural heritage, affordable
housing, public transportation needs, and so on. Digital platforms are not limited and designed to fit
just one of these two typologies. Many are the examples of platforms that are used for both of them
(e.g. Crowdbrite, Commonplace, Mapping for change, Citizens sticky world). We will now focus on
each of the two types in more detail.
In the first type, we find telling examples from Bang the Table with short-term development
exercises for open space improvements along the beach through artistic installations, new pathways,
boardwalks and benches, improvement of parks and recreation facilities. Block by Block is also a
clear example. Based on the Minecraft game and in collaboration with UN-Habitat, it allows for
reproduction of the environment and space in a 3D virtual world for citizens to plan it and design
it. It has been applied to several examples all over the world and especially in distressed areas such
as Kosovo, Haiti, Palestine, for instance for the design and upgrade of a transport hub, a new skate
park, and a city market. Some of many other interesting examples and potential case studies for future
empirical research in this first type are Citizinvestor, Commonplace, Co-urbanize, Ideascale, Urban
interactive studio. Real world applications concern solutions for the location of new bike racks, plaza
upgrade, playground renovation, improvement of a university campus, new concepts and ideas for a
zoo, redevelopment of a factory building, new sporting village and a community stadium.
The second type of real world applications, which are more oriented towards long-term planning
and general policy principles, involves examples of institutional participatory processes. An interesting
example is Carticipe for the municipal and metropolitan plans of various cities in France such as
Lille, Grenoble, and Avignon. This platform was used to co-produce ideas and proposals within the
domains of public open spaces, sustainable mobility and bicycle lanes, public services and new retail
Volume 7 • Issue 3 • July-September 2018
and commercial activities. Similarly, Crowdbrite was used within the process of developing the Las
Vegas Master Plan. Last but not least, the location of new affordable homes and the development of
neighbourhood plans (a new practice part of the current English spatial and urban planning system)
are examples of real world applications found in Commonplace, Co-urbanize, Citizens sticky world,
and Mapping for change.
The problems and real-world applications therefore concern several domains of the living
environment in urban as well as more rural settings. Public spaces and facilities are the objects of
such efforts of co-production through digital platforms with the underlying aim of delivering a new
and improved design and a greater usability to meet the needs of the communities.
As for the pricing pattern, there seems to be a connection between the availability of a higher number
and more advanced technological features (and therefore co-production potential for users) and the
pricing element. In fact, the majority of platforms (16 out of 25) classified within the co-production
level have several explicit pricing plans and solutions that vary according to the level of service that
is provided. The other nine platforms have no pricing plans, five of which embrace the open source
philosophy. No difference is observed between platforms that serve for immediate and short-terms
solutions and those which instead support more long-term planning applications. Pricing and financial
affordability have implications for the ability and willingness of government and citizen groups to
adopt digital solutions for their co-production efforts. If for large and richer cities and communities
this might not be an issue, smaller municipalities and poorer communities might indeed perceive it
as an obstacle.
Pricing plans can vary from a few dozens of Euros per month to as much as GBP 1,200 per month
as in the case of Creative Citizens Sticky World. All in all, there seems to be a specific business model
behind the platforms for co-production (and to some extent informing and consulting platforms) that
is intended to meet a public demand and the need of governments to engage with citizens with state
of the art digital tools, so exploiting an expanding market (Sifry, 2014) whose value is estimated to
be of around 700 million US dollars’ worth of investments (Gordon & Mihailidis, 2016). However,
it is not simply a matter of availability of technological features that determines the price. Platforms
for interaction are generally free to use and so are platforms for self-organization, while many of the
informing and consulting platforms included in this article have pricing plans. The reason for this
seems unclear and further investigation may be needed from business scholars to determine why
this happens.
In the current era of almost ubiquitous Internet accessibility, increasing attention and resources are
devoted to the role of new information- and communication technologies in establishing meaningful
and democratically legitimate citizen engagement. Due to economic trends, welfare state reforms,
devolution and new knowledge-sharing patterns, there is a growing interest in two-way engagement
and collaboration of governments and citizens (e.g. Ertiö, 2015; Kleinhans et al., 2015; Linders,
2012; Parrado et al., 2013; Williamson & Parolin, 2013). While social media are considered as an
important facilitator in this respect, a plethora of digital participatory platforms (DPPs) has been
developed to enable collaboration and co-production between citizens and governments. Previous
research has revealed the promise of the Internet to “enable co-production on an unprecedented
scale” (Linders, 2012, p. 446), but reviews have yielded a fragmented picture of DPPs in only a few
specific socio-spatial contexts like the United States of America and some parts of Europe (see e.g.
Desouza & Bhagwatwar, 2012, 2014; Atzmanstorfer & Blaschke, 2013; Evans Cowley & Kubinski,
2015). Moreover, Internet-facilitated co-production has not been systematically studied yet (Clark et
al., 2013; Linders, 2012; Meijer, 2011).
Volume 7 • Issue 3 • July-September 2018
In this context, this paper aimed to provide a more (globally) comprehensive picture of the
availability and functionalities of DPPs and to identify platforms that demonstrate a realistic potential
for co-production between government at various levels and citizens groups. Using a three-step
systematic review approach, 113 currently active DPPs were identified, analysed and subsequently
classified on the basis of a typology of citizen-government relationships, ranging from information
sharing to self-organisation (of citizens). This review has shown that almost a quarter of the identified
DPPs can be classified as co-production platforms even though development efforts of such platforms
are mainly concentrated in the United States while applications concern more countries such as
Kosovo, Haiti, Palestine, Nepal, South Africa, Mexico and many more. This is in contrast with previous
research that has identified a lower number of collaborative or co-production platforms (Desouza &
Bhagwatwar, 2014; Ertiö, 2015, Evans-Cowley & Kubinski, 2015). However, taking into account the
development and availability of technology, efforts towards digitally-enabled co-production could be
undertaken by many more governments and communities around the world and further investigation
should be devoted to understanding how we can make the most out of the available state-of-the-art
technology, within the context of community development traditions.
The subset of 25 co-production platforms has been analysed with regard to their technological
features, pricing patterns, real world applications and addressed problems and solutions that are
examined and proposed on these platforms. Our systematic review has not only contributed new
knowledge by the extensive inventory, but also by identifying real world applications and issues
which these platforms are used to address. In everyday practice, these platforms are either used for
practical solutions for spatially-bound problems, objects or services in citizens’ living environments
or targeted towards future-oriented vision, planning or policy making of local areas, neighbourhoods,
but also cities (master plans and local community plans).
Based on the review and inventory, a few general recommendations for policymakers can
be offered. First of all, the review has identified quite a number of up and running co-production
platforms. Policymakers, especially in English-speaking countries, should resist the temptation of
building their own applications, and rather opt for an already established DPP that has been through
numerous test and validation rounds, thus saving substantial time, money and energy in setting up a
new platform for digital engagement or collaboration. Second, the range of available functionalities,
from easy to more complex, should remind policymakers that not all members of target communities
will be sufficiently technologically savvy to use all available functionalities of DPPs. While citizen
users will already be a specific part of the general population, technological abilities will differ even
within this group. This should be taken into account while applying a DPP to a specific socio-spatial
context. Finally, the variety in applications of DPPs should remind policymakers that, while paying
attention to the platforms is important, these should not be considered as ‘stand-alone’ objectives.
Rather, DPPs should be perceived as instruments to enable public sector institutions and citizens to
make better use of each other’s assets and resources, for the sake of better ‘offline’ outcomes and
improved efficiency (see also Bovaird & Loeffler, 2012), but not for the sake of technology itself.
Finally, clear avenues for further research can be provided. First of all, scholars around the world
can expand the list of platforms (Appendix, Tables 3-7) and update the description of features, which
is enabled by providing crucial platform data (including URLs) to create an up-to-date knowledge
base of DPPs. A next step may be to further study actual take-up rates of various DPPs, to uncover
reasons for either limited or highly substantial use of DPPs that claim to facilitate co-production. Third,
co-production has been associated with strong expectations regarding its potential “to reinvigorate
voluntary participation and social cohesion in an increasingly fragmented and individualized society”
(Brandsen & Honingh, 2016, p. 427). However, many authors have observed that Internet-facilitated
co-production has not yet been systematically studied (Clark et al., 2013; Linders, 2012; Meijer, 2011).
Considering the availability of documented case studies for most co-production DPPs, it is our aim
to conduct more in-depth research which should identify the nature, process, outcomes (both online
and offline) and policy implications of digitally-enabled co-production.
Volume 7 • Issue 3 • July-September 2018
An ongoing project and repository of mainly offline participatory and deliberative governance
experiences is available on the Participedia platform ( (Fung, and Warren, 2011).
The research leading to these results is developed in the context of the SmartGov Project (Advanced
decision support for Smart Governance). It has received funding from the Joint Programming Initiative
(JPI) Urban Europe, i.e. the program ERA-NET Cofund Smart Cities and Communities (ENSCC),
under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Program. We are grateful to Xin Li, PhD student at OTB
– Department for the Built Environment, TU Delft, for helping us with the search in Chinese. We
are grateful to the three anonymous reviewers who provided insightful comments and suggestions
which allowed us to improve our manuscript.
Volume 7 • Issue 3 • July-September 2018
Adams, D. (2013). Volunteered Geographic Information: Potential Implications for Participatory Planning.
Planning Practice and Research, 28(4), 464–469. doi:10.1080/02697459.2012.725549
Afzalan, N., & Evans-Cowley, J. (2015). Planning and Social Media: Facebook for Planning at the Neighbourhood
Scale. Planning Practice and Research, 30(3), 270–285. doi:10.1080/02697459.2015.1052943
Angotti, T. (2008). New York for Sale: Community Planning Confronts Global Real Estate. Cambridge, MA:
The MIT Press.
Atzmanstorfer, K., & Blaschke, T. (2013). The Geospatial Web: A Tool to Support the Empowerment of Citizens
through E-Participation? In C. Nunes Silva (Ed.), Citizen E-Participation in Urban Governance: Crowdsourcing
and Collaborative Creativity (pp. 144–171). Hershey, PA: IGI Global; doi:10.4018/978-1-4666-4169-3.ch009
Babelon, I., Ståhle, A., & Balfors, B. (2017). Toward Cyborg PPGIS: Exploring socio-technical requirements
for the use of web-based PPGIS in two municipal planning cases, Stockholm region, Sweden. Journal of
Environmental Planning and Management, 60(8), 1366–1390. doi:10.1080/09640568.2016.1221798
Bertot, J. C., Jaeger, P. T., & Hansen, D. (2012). The impact of polices on government social media usage:
Issues, challenges, and recommendations. Government Information Quarterly, 29(1), 30–40. doi:10.1016/j.
Bovaird, T., & Loeffler, E. (2012). From engagement to co-production: The contribution of users and communities
to outcomes and public value. Voluntas, 23(4), 1119–1138. doi:10.1007/s11266-012-9309-6
Brandsen, T., & Honingh, M. (2016). Distinguishing different types of coproduction: A conceptual analysis based
on the classical definitions. Public Administration Review, 76(3), 427–435. doi:10.1111/puar.12465
Brown, G., & Kyttä, M. (2012). Public Participation GIS (PPGIS) for Regional and Environmental Planning:
Reflections on a Decade of Empirical Research. URISA Journal, 24(2), 7–18.
Brown, G., & Kytta, M. (2014). Key Issues and Research Priorities for Public Participation GIS (PPGIS): A
Synthesis Based on Empirical Research. Applied Geography (Sevenoaks, England), 46, 122–136. doi:10.1016/j.
Bryer, T. A., & Zavattaro, S. M. (2011). Social media and public administration. Administrative Theory & Praxis,
33(3), 325–340. doi:10.2753/ATP1084-1806330301
Burkhardt, D., Zilke, J. R., Nazemi, K., Kohlhammer, J., & Kuijper, A. (2014). Fundamental Aspects for
E-Government. In P. Sonntagbauer, K. Nazemi, S. Sonntagbauer, G. Prister, & D. Burkhardt (Eds.), Handbook
of research on Avanced ICT integration for Governance and Policy Modeling (pp. 1–18). Hershey, PA: IGI
Global. doi:10.4018/978-1-4666-6236-0.ch001
Casey, C., & Li, J. (2012). Web 2.0 Technologies and Authentic Public Participation: Engaging Citizens in
Decision Making Processes. In K. Kloby & M. J. D’Agostino (Eds.), Citizens 2.0: Public and Governmental
Interaction through Web 2.0 Technologies (pp. 197–223). Hershey, PA: IGI Global. doi:10.4018/978-1-4666-
Coleman, D. J., Georgiadou, Y., & Labonte, J. (2009). Volunteered Geographic Information: The Nature
and Motivation of Producers. International Journal of Spatial Data Infrastructures Research, 4, 332–358.
Davidoff, P. (1965). Advocacy and Pluralism in Planning. Journal of the American Planning Association, 31(4),
331–338. doi:10.1080/01944366508978187
Desouza, K. C., & Bhagwatwar, A. (2012). Citizen Apps to Solve Complex Urban Problems. Journal of Urban
Technology, 19(3), 107–136. doi:10.1080/10630732.2012.673056
Desouza, K. C., & Bhagwatwar, A. (2014). Technology-Enabled Participatory Platforms for Civic Engagement:
The Case of U.S. Cities. Journal of Urban Technology, 21(4), 25–50. doi:10.1080/10630732.2014.954898
DiMaggio, P., Hargittai, E., Celeste, C., & Shafer, S. (2004). From unequal access to differentiated use: A
literature review and agenda for research on digital inequality. In K. Neckerman (Ed.), Social Inequality (pp.
355–400). New York: Russell Sage Foundation.
Volume 7 • Issue 3 • July-September 2018
Ertiö, T. (2015). Participatory Apps for Urban Planning-Space for Improvement. Planning Practice and Research,
30(3), 301–320. doi:10.1080/02697459.2015.1052942
Evans-Cowley, J., & Hollander, J. (2010). The New Generation of Public Participation: Internet-based Participation
Tools. Planning Practice and Research, 25(3), 397–408. doi:10.1080/02697459.2010.503432
Evans-Cowley, J. S., & Kubinski, B. (2015). There’s an App for That: Mobile Applications That Advance Urban
Planning. In C. Nunes Silva (Ed.), Emerging Issues, Challenges, and Opportunities in Urban E-Planning (pp.
33–45). Hershey, PA: IGI Global. doi:10.4018/978-1-4666-8150-7.ch002
Fung, A., & Warren, M.E. (2011). The Participedia Project: An Introduction. International Public Management
Journal, 14(3), 341-362.
Gil de Zuniga, H., Veenstra, A., Varga, E., & Shah, D. (2010). Digital Democracy: Reimagining Pathways to Political
Participation. Journal of Information Technology & Politics, 7(1), 36–51. doi:10.1080/19331680903316742
Gilchrist, A. (2003). Community Development in the UK: Possibilities and Paradoxes. Community Development
Journal: An International Forum, 38(1), 16–25. doi:10.1093/cdj/38.1.16
Goodchild, M. F. (2007). Citizens as sensors: The world of volunteered geography. GeoJournal, 69(4), 211–221.
Gordon, E., & Mihailidis, P. (2016). Civic Media: Technology, Design, Practice. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.
Jones, P., Layard, A., Speed, C., & Lorne, C. (2015). MapLocal: Use of Smartphones for Crowdsourced planning.
Planning Practice and Research, 30(3), 322–3236. doi:10.1080/02697459.2015.1052940
Kavanaugh, A. L., Fox, E. A., Sheetz, S. D., Yang, S., Li, L. T., Shoemaker, D. J., & Xie, L. (2012). Social
media use by government: From the routine to the critical. Government Information Quarterly, 29(4), 480–491.
Khan, G. F. (2015). The Government 2.0 utilization model and implementation scenarios. Information
Development, 31(2), 135–149. doi:10.1177/0266666913502061
Khan, G. F., Swar, B., & Lee, S. K. (2014). Social media risks and benefits: a public sector perspective. Social
Science Computer Review, 32(5), 606-627.
Kleinhans, R., Van Ham, M., & Evans-Cowley, J. (2015). Using social media and mobile technologies to foster
engagement and self-organization in participatory urban planning and neighbourhood governance. Planning
Practice and Research, 30(3), 237–247. doi:10.1080/02697459.2015.1051320
Lee, Y. (2008). Design participation tactics: The challenges and new roles for designers in the co-
design process. CoDesign. International Journal of Co-Creation in Design and the Arts., 4(1), 31–50.
Li, M. H., & Feeney, M. K. (2014). Adoption of electronic technologies in local U.S. government: Distinguishing
between e-services and communication technologies. The American Review of Public Administration, 44(1),
Linders, D. (2012). From e-government to we-government: Defining a typology for citizen coproduction in
the age of social media. Government Information Quarterly, 29(4), 446–454. doi:10.1016/j.giq.2012.06.003
Magro, M. J. (2012). A review of Social Media use in E-government. Administrative Sciences, 2(2), 148–161.
Marzouki, A., Lafrance, F., Daniel, S., & Mellouli, S. (2017). The relevance of geovisualization in Citizen
Participation processes. In Proceedings of the Digital Government Society Conference, New York, NY.
McMillan, S. J. (2002). A four-part model of cyber-activity. Some cyber-places are more interactive than others.
New Media & Society, 4(2), 271–291. doi:10.1177/14614440222226370
Meijer, A. (2011). Networked Coproduction of Public Services in Virtual Communities: From a Government‐
Centric to a Community Approach to Public Service Support. Public Administration Review, 71(4), 598–607.
Volume 7 • Issue 3 • July-September 2018
Mergel, I. (2013). A framework for interpreting social media interactions in the public sector. Government
Information Quarterly, 30(4), 327–334. doi:10.1016/j.giq.2013.05.015
Mergel, I., & Bretschneider, S. I. (2013). A Three-Stage Adoption Process for Social Media Use in Government.
Public Administration Review, 73(3), 390–400. doi:10.1111/puar.12021
Munthe-Kaas, P., & Hoffmann, B. (2016). Democratic design experiments in urban planning – navigational
practices and compositionist design. CoDesign. International Journal of Co-Creation in Design and the Arts;
Norris, P. (2001). Digital Divide: Civic Engagement, Information Poverty, and the Internet Worldwide. Cambridge,
MA: Cambridge University Press; doi:10.1017/CBO9781139164887
Panek, J. (2015). How participatory mapping can drive community empowerment - A case study of Koffiekraal,
South Africa. The South African Geographical Journal, 97(1), 18–30. doi:10.1080/03736245.2014.924866
Parrado, S., Van Ryzin, G., Bovaird, T., & Löffler, E. (2013). Correlates of co-production: Evidence from a
five-nation survey of citizens. International Public Management Journal, 16(1), 85–112. doi:10.1080/109674
Picazo-Vela, S., Gutierrez-Martinez, I., & Luna-Reyes, L. F. (2012). Understanding risks, benefits, and strategic
alternatives of social media applications in the public sector. Government Information Quarterly, 29(4), 504–511.
Sanders, E. B. N., & Stappers, J. P. (2008). Co-creation and the new landscapes of design. CoDesign. International
Journal of Co-Creation in Design and the Arts, 4(1), 5–18. doi:10.1080/15710880701875068
Sifry, M. (2014). The Big Disconnect: Why the Internet Hasn’t Transformed Government (Yet). New York, NY:
OR Books.
Silva, C. N. (2013). Open Source Urban Governance: Crowdsourcing, Neogeography, VGI, and Citizen Science.
In C. N. Silva (Ed.), Citizen E-Participation in Urban Governance: Crowdsourcing and Collaborative Creativity.
Hershey, PA: IGI Global. doi:10.4018/978-1-4666-4169-3.ch001
Slotterback, C. S. (2011). Planners’ perspectives on using technology in participatory Processes. Environment
and Planning. B, Planning & Design, 38(3), 468–485. doi:10.1068/b36138
Suen, I. S. (2006). Assessment of the Level of Interactivity of E-Government Functions. Journal of E-Government,
3(1), 29–51. doi:10.1300/J399v03n01_03
Verschuere, B., Brandsen, T., & Pestoff, V. (2012). Co-production: The state of the art in research and the future
agenda. Voluntas, 23(4), 1083–1101. doi:10.1007/s11266-012-9307-8
Voorberg, W., Bekkers, V., & Tummers, L. (2015). A systematic review of co-creation and co-production:
Embarking on the social innovation journey. Public Management Review, 17(9), 1333–1357. doi:10.1080/147
Williamson, W., & Parolin, B. (2013). Web 2.0 and Social Media Growth in Planning Practice: A Longitudinal
Study. Planning Practice and Research, 28(5), 544–562. doi:10.1080/02697459.2013.840996
Wilson, M., & Graham, M. (2013b). Neogeography and volunteered geographic information: A conversation
with Michael Goodchild and Andrew Turner. Environment & Planning A, 45(1), 10–18. doi:10.1068/a44483
Wilson, M. W., & Graham, M. (2013a). Situating Neogeography. Environment & Planning A, 45(1), 3–9.
Zavattaro, S. M., & Sementelli, A. J. (2014). A critical examination of social media adoption in government:
Introducing omnipresence. Government Information Quarterly, 31(2), 257–264. doi:10.1016/j.giq.2013.10.007
Volume 7 • Issue 3 • July-September 2018
Table 3. Information sharing: Informing sub-level
Platform Website Description Coverage Case
Main Tech.
Features Pricing
Civic Insight
It helps residents
to be informed
of issues such as
code enforcement,
building permits.
USA Yes Visualization,
Analytics Yes
OS City
Search, visualize,
and combine data
to gain insight on
spatial planning
(EU only).
Netherlands No
Open City
A group that
creates apps
with open data
to improve
transparency and
understanding of
our government.
Open source,
Tell Us
A tailored package
of map-based
software tools for
spatial analysis,
decision support
and stakeholder
UK Yes (under
Decision support
Table 4. Information sharing: Consulting sub-level
Platform Website Description Coverage Case
Main Tech.
Features Pricing
All Our Ideas
All Our Ideas is a research project that
seeks to develop a new form of social
data collection by combining the best
features of quantitative and qualitative
methods such as interviews, participant
observation, and focus groups.
Voting tool,
analysis tool,
adding ideas.
Open source
Citizen Space
A system for creating online
consultations, building surveys, complete
with contextual information. Designed
in collaboration with government
specifically for public sector use.
UK Yes
and surveys,
Statistics and
Cycle Tracks
CycleTracks uses GPS support to track
users’ bicycle trip routes. It aims to send
data about bicycle trips (purpose, route,
date and time) to the San Francisco
County Transportation Authority’s
servers for mobility research and policy
GPS tracking,
about user
Cityzen Conduct surveys, analyse and visualise
data. USA No
continued on following page
Volume 7 • Issue 3 • July-September 2018
Platform Website Description Coverage Case
Main Tech.
Features Pricing
Emotional maps allow users to get
involved in the process of collecting
information related to their emotional
links with their environment.
Republic No
exporting data
Epic Collect http://www. provides a web and
mobile app for the collecting and
submitting ideas, comments, geotagged
Open source,
Submit ideas,
Fulcrum http://www.
Design custom forms and deploy to
mobile devices for fast, efficient, and
reliable mobile data collection.
data, maps,
Yes (18 to
GeoLive is a flexible and extendable
online participatory mapping tool
designed to facilitate organizations’
ability to capture, manage and
communicate their own spatial data
Canada No
iSPEX is an innovative way to measure
aerosols. This instrument measures
properties of small particles in the sky:
aerosols. Aerosols can be measured with
the iSPEX add-on together with the
iPhone app.
Netherlands No Reporting No
Collaborative mapping tools for
advancing knowledge about places. USA Yes Mapping,
comments, N/A
Local Data
LocalData is a cloud-based mapping
platform that helps cities and
communities make data-driven decisions
by capturing and visualizing street-level
information in real time.
Open source
mySidewalk http://www2. Ideation platform for community projects USA No
Spatial data
Partecipa! http://www.partecipa.
National Portal for public consultation.
Consulting citizens on issues of national
relevance such as quality of air, open
data, transparency
Italy No Forum,
Comments, No
Public consultations in Portugal. Citizens
can contribute to a debate on a specific
issue or project.
Portugal No Forum,
comments No
Online public comment forum for US
government. USA Yes Forum, voting
tool, analytics
PlaceSpeak is a location-based
consultation platform that solves the
problem of how to engage with people
online within specific geographical
boundaries -- and prove it.
UK Yes Map based,
Yes (5.000 a
https://www. It enables to conduct polls and moderate. USA Yes
Popularise https://popularise.
Review projects submit, discuss and
support new ideas. USA
Submit ideas,
voting tool,
Table 4. Continued
continued on following page
Volume 7 • Issue 3 • July-September 2018
Table 5. Interaction level
Platform Website Description Coverage Case
Main Tech.
Features Pricing
AskTheEU https://www.asktheeu.
org/ is an online platform
for citizens to send access to
documents requests directly to EU
Spain No Send
request. No
Basta Platsen
Map-based comments for public
engagement and discussion. A way to
collect people’s ideas and opinions.
Sweden Yes Map-based
comments No
Established by local newspaper
(public media). Encourage residents to
comment, report problems (traffic, bus
route, bicycle path, health) and make
suggestions on local development.
China No
BetterStreet https://betterstreet.
Reporting street potholes and other
issues. Belgium
by city)
Mobile app,
BougeMaVille https://www.
Reporting issues and receiving
feedback once the issue has been
France No
Mobile app,
Budget Simulator
Tool for educating about budget
priorities and collecting feedback. UK Yes
Sliders to
Buiten Beter http://www.
Report to the municipality any issue
that needs to be resolved such as
broken bus shelter, potholes, full trash
bins, and so on.
Netherlands No
Mobile app,
Platform Website Description Coverage Case
Main Tech.
Features Pricing
Street Bump
Crowdsourcing application to improve
public streets. Street Bump helps
residents improve their neighborhood
streets. As they drive, the mobile app
collects data about the smoothness of
the ride
USA No Sensing, GPS No
Developed to map reports of violence in
Kenya after the post-election violence
in 2008.
Kenya No
source Data
Yes (500$/
We Sense http://wesense.
The app is able to generate insights
on people’s perception of urban
environments and what effects these
surroundings have on them.
Netherlands No Media upload,
and surveys No
WideNoise http://cs.everyaware.
WideNoise is a project of EveryAware.
WideNoise. The mobile app allows
data to be collected and helps people
understand the level of sound pollution
around them.
Italy No Data
collection No
Table 4. Continued
continued on following page
Volume 7 • Issue 3 • July-September 2018
Platform Website Description Coverage Case
Main Tech.
Features Pricing
Citizen Budget http://www.
Citizen Budget online simulator helps
solicit residents’ feedback on budget
using it)
CitySourced http://www.
Quickly identify and report issues
effecting communities and quality
of life (e.g. potholes, graffiti, broken
street lights, public safety).
Mobile app,
Participación y Control Ciudadano
Usando las Nuevas Tecnologías. Colombia No
idea, Maps,
Civic Commons
It serves community leaders,
institutions and the growing desire of
citizens to be engaged and empowered
on key civic decisions. It allows to
share ideas and discuss.
Civocracy https://www.
Enables effective, constructive
discussion and shared decision-
making between stakeholders
(citizens, businesses, organizations,
governments) and encourages active
citizen engagement.
voting tool
Codigital http://www.codigital.
The most powerful and engaging way
for large groups to generate, prioritize
and refine ideas. Integrates with Social
Networks and Intranets. Demo video.
Voting tool,
Mobile app for reporting issues,
making suggestions and ideas to local
Brazil No
Mobile app,
Voting tool,
Deliktum http://www.deliktum.
Platform to report problems and crimes
on maps. Ecuador Yes
and crime,
Denuncia BR http://www.
Citizens can report and geotag crimes
and describe them. Brazil No Geo-located
Reporting No
DialogueApp http://www.dialogue-
Promotes dialogue to solve policy
challenges with citizen input. UK Yes
ideas, rate,
Dialoga Brasil http://www.dialoga.
Federal government platform for
citizens to contribute with ideas to
themes such as health, education,
security, culture, and poverty
Brazil No
voting tool,
Ethelo Decisions http://ethelodecisions.
Ethelo gathers multiple insights,
streamlines collaboration, and
identifies highly-supported decisions,
all in one intuitive platform.
Canada Yes
FixMaVille http://www.
Reporting issues to councils. As in
FixMyStreet France No
Mobile app,
No (Yes
Table 5. Continued
continued on following page
Volume 7 • Issue 3 • July-September 2018
Platform Website Description Coverage Case
Main Tech.
Features Pricing
Open source report-mapping software
that can be deployed anywhere in
the world. Most commonly used for
reporting street issues to councils, but
flexible enough to fit any project that
matches geographical points to email
UK Yes
Open source
Mobile app,
民心网 (For the
Established by the government
for citizens to complain about
and comment on different level
of governments and departments’
China No
Fort Worth Forum
Forum of the city of Fort Worth where
citizens discuss new ideas and issues
related to new urban development,
use of public funds, transportation
and so on.
USA Yes Discussion
forum. No
Get it done https://www.sandiego.
Reporting services for abandoned
vehicles, potholes, street lights,
sidewalks. It has probably replaced
Street Report.
Mobile app,
Geo Citizen
It allows Citizens and Communities
to collaboratively report observations,
discuss ideas, and monitor issues
around their neighborhoods.
Ecuador Yes
Mobile app,
Granicus http://www.granicus.
Granicus Citizen Engagement tools
allow for more people to contribute
ideas for community improvement and
provide feedback on current initiatives.
Platform for consultation of citizens
on different issues proposed by the
government. Citizens can also raise
issues and start a new proposal/
Spain No
voting tools,
InCity http://www.incityapp.
Reporting street potholes and other
issues. France No
Mobile app,
Irekia http://www.irekia.
Citizens as well as government can
raise and consult on issues. Spain No
Jaidemaville http://jaidemaville.
com/ Reporting issues. France No
Mobile app,
Leon Emergente http://emergenteleon.
León Emergente is an international
research and cooperation project aimed
at developing an exhaustive digital,
dynamic and collaborative Atlas for
the city of León, Nicaragua. The aim
is to provide access to the different
online maps and to engage citizens
in the production of these maps in a
simple way.
Nicaragua Yes Maps,
comments No
Table 5. Continued
continued on following page
Volume 7 • Issue 3 • July-September 2018
Platform Website Description Coverage Case
Main Tech.
Features Pricing
Liquid Feedback http://liquidfeedback.
Governments and parliaments can use
LiquidFeedback to poll the opinion
of the public, while not being limited
to yes/no–questions: Citizens may
rephrase the question and provide
unforeseen answers.
Germany No
Loomio https://www.loomio.
Online tool for collaborative
decision-making, built by a team of
technologists, activists and social
entrepreneurs in New Zealand. Loomio
emerged from the need for a scalable
way to make inclusive group decisions
during the Occupy movement in 2011.
Zealand Yes
Yes for
MapChat is an open source tool for
integrating maps with real-time (as
well as asynchronous) discussions
between multiple users through chat
Zealand Yes
Mejora tu Ciudad http://www.
Website and mobile application for
reporting, interacting, commenting. Spain No
Mobile app,
and ideas,
Mind Mixer https://www.
It fosters citizens engagement and
collaboration. It Allows citizens to
submit ideas and vote.
MintScraps https://www.
Online platform that helps restaurants
and food service businesses to track
and reduce their waste. It connects
them with the local waste hauling
company to find solutions for
recycling, composting and trashing.
The tools harness the power of digital
technologies to empower citizens, open
channels of communication, and help
planners make the right decisions. The
more famous Fix My Street is part of
this effort.
Open311 http://www.open311.
Open standard for connecting citizens
to government for reporting non-
emergency issues.
Mobile app,
OpenDCN http://www.opendcn.
The openDCN software environment
-- where DCN stands for Deliberative
Community Networks – provides
on-line dedicated tools to support
participation and deliberation.
Italy Yes
Philly Watchdog
The Nation’s first government app
allowing citizens to report fraud &
waste through smartphone technology.
PlanYourPlace http://planyourplace.
PlanYourPlace is an open source
structure of modern web-based
solutions to support planning practice
that engage community.
Canada Yes
Table 5. Continued
continued on following page
Volume 7 • Issue 3 • July-September 2018
Platform Website Description Coverage Case
Main Tech.
Features Pricing
PublicStuff http://www.
Communication system for reporting
and resolving community concerns. USA No
Mobile app,
Sag’s Wien
Sending requests to the city of Vienna.
At any time, you can report a concern,
a danger point or a malfunction via
the smartphone to the Vienna City
Austria No
Mobile app,
SeeClickFix http://www.
For reporting and responding to
neighbourhood issues. USA Yes
Mobile app,
Speak up Austin http://speakupaustin.
The city of Austin’s community
engagement portal. SpeakUpAustin
is making it easier for the public to
communicate feedback and receive
voting tool
Textizen https://www.textizen.
Textizen’s web platform sends,
receives, and analyzes text messages
so you can reach the people you serve
with the technology already in their
pocket, 24/7.
USA Yes Text,
Tip411 https://tip411site.
It helps public agencies engage
the public through alerts, texts
and a mobile app on crime-related
information. Tips submitted by citizens
can be responded to in real time.
USA Yes Submit tips,
reporting, Yes
WeJIT http://www.mywejit.
Collaborative online Forum for
decision-making, brainstorming,
debating, prioritizing, and more.
You have the right to request
information from any publicly-
funded body, and get answers.
WhatDoTheyKnow helps you make a
Freedom of Information request. It also
publishes all requests online.
requests to
obtain info,
WriteToThem https://www.
Write to your politicians, national or
local, for free. UK No
with local
Table 5. Continued
Table 6. Co-production level
Platform Website Description Coverage Case
Main Tech.
Features Pricing
Bang the Table –
Engagement HQ
Platform for public engagement
needs. Digital mapping,
ideation, stories, blogs,
discussion forums.
Australia Yes
Opinion maps,
surveys, submit
Ideas, Forums,
continued on following page
Volume 7 • Issue 3 • July-September 2018
Platform Website Description Coverage Case
Main Tech.
Features Pricing
Block by Block http://blockbyblock.
It is based on Minecraft to
engage poor communities in
urban design and fund the
implementation of public space
projects all over the world.
Sweden Yes
software and urban
Carticipe is participatory
platform designed to foster
citizens debate and consultation
on city-related matters. The tool
combines social networks and
interactive maps.
France Yes
Voting, submit
ideas, comments,
Citizinvestor http://www.
Crowdfunding and civic
engagement platform for local
government projects.
voting, submit
ideas. Upload
CityLab010 https://www.
Platform to develop ideas for
Rotterdam to make the city a
more attractive place to live,
work or study.
Netherlands Yes
Submit Ideas and
Plans to the city of
Map-based platforms and 3-D
models that allows citizens to
submit their ideas and projects.
Sweden Yes
Submit ideas,
maps, comments,
3-d models
Commonplace http://commonplace.
A simple and clear map-based
tool for capturing people’s
UK Yes
Analytics, ideas,
Map-based tool for facilitating
dialogue and collecting
Maps, Photos,
coUrbanize http://www.
List project information for
development proposals and
gather online feedback.
Comment, voting
tool, ideas, maps,
Creative Citizens
Sticky World
Stickyworld makes it easy to
present, explain and discuss
your projects with clients, end
users, local communities or
UK Yes
Maps, comments,
ideas, discussion
Crowdbrite http://www.
It allows citizens and
stakeholders engagement
for strategic planning,
infrastructure, built environment
Maps, surveys,
comments, ideas,
Crowdgauge http://crowdgauge.
Allows users to set priorities,
rate and support different
options and contribute with
ideas about actions and policies.
Open source
Budget allocation,
maps, rating,
Crowdmap https://crowdmap.
Crowdmap allows to aggregate
and visualise information and
data from cell phones, news and
web in general on maps. Add
comments and report issues.
Kenya No
Open source
Maps, Comments,
Geojson http://geojson.
Geojson is a data format
for encoding a variety of
geographic data. Mapping
application for collaborative
mapping exercises. Geographic
data can be mapped and
exported in different formats.
Open Source
Maps, Comments,
Table 6. Continued
continued on following page
Volume 7 • Issue 3 • July-September 2018
Platform Website Description Coverage Case
Main Tech.
Features Pricing
The IdeaScale citizen
engagement platform will
facilitate data gathering from
small to large citizen crowds all
in one easy-to-create, easy-to-
view, easy-to-manage site.
Submit ideas,
comments, voting,
Mapping for
Participatory and Collaborative
mapping services. UK Yes Maps, comments,
ideas, analytics, Yes
Map Server http://www.
MapServer is an open source
platform for publishing spatial
data and interactive mapping
applications to the web.
USA No Open Source
Mapping, No
Maptionnaire https://maptionnaire.
Create a map-based
questionnaire of your own.
Promote discussion by
publishing the results in
Maptionnaire. Analyze and
Finland Yes
Maps, comments,
submit ideas,
MetroQuest http://metroquest.
It incorporates scenario
planning and visualizations
for informing the public and
collecting feedback. Allows
citizens to submit and vote
USA Yes Submit ideas,
Voting, maps Yes
This platforms allows citizens
to submit ideas in a 3-D model
for the city of Goteborg,
Sweden Yes
Submit ideas,
comments, maps,
3-D model
Neighborland https://neighborland.
It empowers civic leaders to
collaborate with residents in
an accessible, participatory,
and enjoyable way providing
real-world design tools and a
powerfully simple platform to
engage people on the web.
Submit ideas,
comments, maps,
discussion forums.
Shareabouts –
Open Plans Project
Shareabouts is a web-based
mapping tool for gathering
crowdsourced public input in an
engaging social process. People
can drop a pin on a map to
provide ideas, suggestions, and
Open source Map
based, comments,
submit Ideas,
TransformCity http://www.
Collaborative mapping. People
can share their ideas and wishes
for the area.
Netherlands Yes Maps, submit
ideas, comments. Yes
Urban Interactive
Reaches, informs, and involves
citizens and stakeholders in
public projects and decision
making allowing them to
comment, share pinions.
Maps, submit
ideas, comments,
Voor Je Buurt
Dutch crowdsourcing version
of the New York platform
Netherlands Yes Share projects,
crowdfunding No
Table 6. Continued
Volume 7 • Issue 3 • July-September 2018
Enzo Falco is Post-Doc Research Fellow in Smart Urban Governance at the Faculty of Architecture and the
Built Environment, Delft University of Technology. He holds a PhD from Sapienza, University of Rome in Urban
Planning. His current research interests include ICT, social media and open source software in urban governance
and participatory planning.
Reinout Kleinhans is Associate Professor of Urban Regeneration and Neighbourhood Change at the Faculty of
Architecture and the Built Environment, Delft University of Technology. His research interests and expertise include
urban regeneration, social capital, citizens’ self-organisation, online engagement and community entrepreneurship.
He holds a PhD in urban geography and has published almost 30 peer-reviewed journal articles and 15 book
chapters, and has co-edited several books.
Table 7. Self-organization: Public matters sub-level
Platform Website Description Coverage Case
Main Tech.
Features Pricing
A platform to organize groups, engage
people and hear their opinion. Tools to
share documents, discuss ideas, vote and
summarize shared solutions. A mass
deliberative system. A tool to enhance
collective intelligence.
Italy No
Open Source
voting tools.
Forum that encourages community
discussion and action at neighbourhood
forum, maps,
FragNebenan https://fragnebenan.
Networking and improved interaction among
neighbours. Austria No
Front Porch
Front Porch Forum’s mission is to help
neighbours connect and build community.
We do that by hosting regional networks of
online neighbourhood forums.
USA No Discussion
Forum No
MataTag http://www.mata-tag.
Citizens can identify places that need graffiti
removal and can volunteer to remove them. Portugal No
Mapas Cultura http://mapas.cultura.
Citizens share information about cultural
events that take place in their cities.
Information sharing among citizens. No
government involved.
Brazil Yes Open source
Post events No
NextDoor Private social network and forum for
neighbourhoods. Demo video. USA No Forum No
Open Austin
Open Austin project ideas. Part of the open
Austin initiative for citizens to discuss ideas
and project
submit ideas,
Recovers App for self-organizing and organizing
disaster relief. USA Yes
Tem Açúcar?
Citizens can share goods, opinions and meet. Brazil No Forum, blog No
Established by the municipality government
to encourage citizens to share their
experiences and comments and complain on
local development issues.
China No
Source: Own Elaboration
... This move of empowering participation through digital design tools would fall within what some scholars such as (Falco and Kleinhans, 2018) call Digital Participatory Platforms (DPPs). These tools, in many cases deployed online, can take the shape of drag-and-drop methods, basic collage canvases or paths in maps, and many cases provide live feedback from design actions. ...
... Improvements in the interactivity of web-based platforms have allowed survey platforms to incorporate design as a form of participant input, bringing the idea of "design empowerment" (Senbel and Church, 2011) to a larger scale data gathering environment. Authors such (Falco and Kleinhans, 2018) talk of Digital Participatory Platforms (DPPs) as tools with a strong emphasis on co-production and review 113 DPPs according to how much they push ideas of co-creation. ...
... There is a strong potential to expand this field of research, especially concerning how feedback from users can be used in a further generative process and data analysis. However, as some authors argue (Falco and Kleinhans, 2018), (Mueller et al., 2020), further studies are required to evaluate the effectiveness of DPPs within a participatory process, looking at the impact on planning outcomes. Moreover, the tools previously outlined focus either on a large-scale path development or an object-oriented approach at a smaller scale. ...
Conference Paper
The increased user-friendliness of Space Syntax (SS) packages and their improved compatibility with popular 3D modelling software has pushed the use of Space Syntax Theory (SST) into the professional realm, making it approachable, not just by dedicated researchers, but also to an increasing number of practitioners. We argue that the applicability of SST can even go further if we use sketching as a form of interaction with the software, potentially opening up its use to general members of the public as part of a wider participatory process. We present a study that tries to understand whether the diagrams required for this form of engagement are easy to produce by non-professionals and once they are produced, see whether they have an impact on the planning process. We propose an experiment using an online design tool that allows participants to make drawings of urban proposals by drafting simple diagrams, beginning with connective paths followed by urban blocks using thicker versions of the same pen tool. We develop bespoke analytic methods to extract general patterns emerging from data, identify trends across different user groups, and study user interaction, design quality and user engagement. We take the expansion of UCL East as a case study and test our tool with several participant groups from the general staff and student population as well as external design professionals. Some of these professionals carry out the exercise after reviewing the design from UCL members. We obtained 700 drawings from 400 participants and carry out comparative studies across groups. The study concludes that general members of the public can understand the type of drawing exercise requested and produce designs of an adequate standard. We can also see that planners and architects observe positively the information coming from general members of the public and are willing to incorporate it into their designs.
... At present, the changing planning concepts and decentralization, information technology, and intelligent technology provide an opportunity to improve the environment for public participation and enhance its effectiveness [48][49][50]. These technologies build a digital participation platform (DDP), a specific type of civic technology explicitly built for participation, engagement, and collaboration purposes, allowing user-generated content and containing a range of features [51,52]. ...
Full-text available
The spatial layout of urban villages seriously affects the living environment and integrated development of urban and rural areas. Using digital means to assist in the reconstruction of urban villages is necessary and urgent. This study built an urban renewal framework for intelligent building planning with a proposed multi-party collaborative pattern. First, villagers’ needs, and relevant standards and regulations were merged into planning requirements, which were formulated into planning goals and criteria. With the quantitative goals and criteria, building planning and design algorithms were developed. Furthermore, the method was verified to achieve an intelligent layout of buildings. Finally, under certain conditions, the average difference between the plot ratio calculated by the program and the actual plot ratio was 0.02, and that between the building intensity calculated by the program and the actual building intensity was 0.02. Within 11.43 hectares, 500 buildings were generated with a total floor area of 27.72 hectares, and the average time taken for scheme generation was 10 s. This method can efficiently generate a plan similar to the actual floor area ratio and building density and optimize the problem of insufficient spacing. Moreover, adjusting the parameters can automatically generate a variety of schemes that can support the layout design of rural buildings.
... En los últimos años, se ha desarrollado una gran cantidad de plataformas participativas digitales para permitir la colaboración y la coproducción entre ciudadanos y gobiernos. Sin embargo, una revisión de la literatura evidencia una imagen fragmentada de las plataformas participativas digitales en solo unos pocos contextos socioespaciales específicos como Estados Unidos y algunas partes de Europa (Falco y Kleinhans, 2019). El uso de la tecnología para recolectar ideas está ausente en el presupuesto participativo digital en los modelos de presupuesto participativo en países en desarrollo. ...
Full-text available
Este trabajo de investigación analiza la importancia del uso de las Tecnologías de la Información y la Comunicación (TIC) en los procesos de Presupuesto Participativo (PP) para promover formas de participación directa de los ciudadanos en la definición de prioridades en la inversión pública en América Latina. La metodología utilizada fue la investigación documental de tipo descriptiva, seguida de una discusión sobre los posibles usos de las TIC en América Latina y sus desafíos en la implementación. Los resultados arrojan que las TIC brindan oportunidades para incrementar la participación ciudadana y mejorar la confianza en las instituciones públicas, mediante una mejora en los procesos de seguimiento. Sin embargo, las TIC pueden acentuar las desigualdades en la participación ciudadana, y los procesos de debate y deliberación virtuales no siempre fomentan un debate participativo.
... Sketching, Geometrical analysis, Drawing landscapes . /0$%,-1&$/,0' Digital Participatory Platforms (DPPs) (Falco and Kleinhans, 2018) are tools that allow general members of the public to engage in participation emphasizing co-production and what (Senbel and Church, 2011) call "design empowerment". The number of DPPs has recently grown substantially, mostly linked to current improvements in web-based interactive systems, which include 3D configurators, collage systems and GIS-based methods of design and data collection. ...
Conference Paper
Digital Participatory Platforms (DPPs) are tools allowing general members of the public to express themselves through design actions. This field is rapidly expanding and has the potential to democratize SS theory, making it visible and relevant to many. Tools that allow participants to develop simple diagrams of urban form can be of help since these types of drawings are easy to make and relate directly to some of the abstractions behind SS theory. However, even if we general members of the public can develop these drawings, the relation between these types of drawings and the reality they may intend to represent has not been mapped sp far. To address this issue we propose an experiment where we compare 200 drawings produced by professionals as part of a participatory process with real scale maps of London parks. We develop an analytic method for the lines of these two datasets using geometric feature extraction and dimensionality reduction representation in a t-SNE scatter graph. Results indicate that, for some types of landscapes, the algorithm effectively matches sketches and map morphologies. In other cases, the geometries of sketches and maps of some landscapes are inherently different since designers tend to develop “cartoons” of their designs, forcing curvature of items or forgetting small details which end up being added into the design in later stages. This would suggest the need to develop sophisticated layers of detail in addition to digital tools if they are to adequately translate between a syntactic approach to design and real-life map results.
... Sketching, Geometrical analysis, Drawing landscapes . /0$%,-1&$/,0' Digital Participatory Platforms (DPPs) (Falco and Kleinhans, 2018) are tools that allow general members of the public to engage in participation emphasizing co-production and what (Senbel and Church, 2011) call "design empowerment". The number of DPPs has recently grown substantially, mostly linked to current improvements in web-based interactive systems, which include 3D configurators, collage systems and GIS-based methods of design and data collection. ...
Digital Participatory Platforms (DPPs) are tools allowing general members of the public to express themselves through design actions. This field is rapidly expanding and has the potential to democratize SS theory, making it visible and relevant to many. Tools that allow participants to develop simple diagrams of urban form can be of help since these types of drawings are easy to make and relate directly to some of the abstractions behind SS theory. However, even if we general members of the public can develop these drawings, the relation between these types of drawings and the reality they may intend to represent has not been mapped sp far. To address this issue we propose an experiment where we compare 200 drawings produced by professionals as part of a participatory process with real scale maps of London parks. We develop an analytic method for the lines of these two datasets using geometric feature extraction and dimensionality reduction representation in a t-SNE scatter graph. Results indicate that, for some types of landscapes, the algorithm effectively matches sketches and map morphologies. In other cases, the geometries of sketches and maps of some landscapes are inherently different since designers tend to develop “cartoons” of their designs, forcing curvature of items or forgetting small details which end up being added into the design in later stages. This would suggest the need to develop sophisticated layers of detail in addition to digital tools if they are to adequately translate between a syntactic approach to design and real-life map results.
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Emerging ICTs, especially the Internet of Things (IoT), provide the collection and analysis of real-time and location-specific data for a wide range of purposes. This advancement enables governments to make more informed decisions and act promptly to serve the public. In Central Java, a mobile application known as 'Jalan Cantik' is used to address complaints of damaged roads. The present work was undertaken to study mainly the ‘Jalan Cantik’ mobile application. This research uses a qualitative approach with case study method. The data are collected from secondary sources, such as official reports, regulation or policy documents, journal articles, books, online news, and websites. According to data from Office of Public Works, Highways, and Human Settlements of Central Java Province, the overall length of provincial roads reached 2.404.741 kilometers on March 19, 2022. There are 1.871.860 kilometers of roads in good condition, or 77.90 percent, 312.125 kilometers, or 12.92 percent, that are moderately damaged, 220.756 kilometers, or 9.18 percent, that are lightly damaged, and none of these were significantly damaged. The emergence of digital participatory platform ‘Jalan Cantik’ in Central Java is one evidence of the provincial government's attempts to deliver a data-driven response to public demands. In terms of co-production, this digital participatory platform is useful for enabling collaboration between Central Java people and the provincial government in dealing with damaged roads.
Full-text available
La participació en el context de la planificació urbana està creixent en els processos urbans i arquitectònics de les ciutats democràtiques. La co-creació urbana significa treballar amb les comunitats integrant les seves necessitats i imaginaris, donant-los l'oportunitat de col·laborar en la transformació de la ciutat. Per a aconseguir-ho, es requereix una metodologia participativa complexa i preparada perquè professionals de l'urbanisme, de l'arquitectura i del paisatgisme treballin de manera interdisciplinària juntament amb altres agents socials. Aquesta recerca presenta un mètode comparatiu d'estudis de cas utilitzant una taxonomia semiòtica, generada a partir d'estudis anteriors. En aquesta nova etapa de la recerca, presentada en aquest article, es compara casos d'estudis i els seus “codis” per a poder trobar similituds entre si i entendre com influeix cada part d'una acció participativa. Els resultats mostren que aquests "codis" amb denominadors comuns es repeteixen en contextos a vegades molt diferents. Participation in the context of urban planning is growing in the urban and architectural processes of democratic cities. Urban co-creation means working with communities by integrating their needs, giving them the opportunity to collaborate in the transformation of the city. To achieve this, a complex and prepared participatory methodology is required for urban planning, architecture and landscape architecture professionals to work in an interdisciplinary way together with other social actors. This research presents a comparative case study method using a semiotic taxonomy, generated from previous studies. In this new stage of the research, presented in this paper, case studies and their "codes" are compared in order to find similarities between them and to understand how each part of a participatory action influences the other. The results show that these "codes" with common denominators are repeated in sometimes very different contexts. La participación en el contexto de la planificación urbana está resurgiendo en los procesos urbanos y arquitectónicos de las ciudades democráticas. La co-creación urbana significa trabajar con los habitantes para transformar las ciudades, dándoles la oportunidad de colaborar en la transformación de la ciudad. Para lograrlo, se requiere una metodología participativa compleja y preparada para que urbanistas, arquitectos paisajistas trabajen de forma interdisciplinar con otros especialistas. Esta investigación presenta un método de comparación de estudios de caso utilizando una taxonomía semiótica, generada a partir de estudios anteriores. Los resultados son "códigos" con denominadores comunes que se repiten en contextos a veces muy diferentes.
Full-text available
In this chapter, we outline a step-by-step approach to developing and implementing an impact assessment plan that covers all stages from planning and implementing to achieving policy impact. Understanding the specific steps to consider and follow when planning and implementing evaluation, will help practitioners make appropriate on-the-ground decisions that fit to their local context We begin with introducing a structured reflection process that connects your strategic objectives, with NBS actions and expected outcomes, through the mapping of a theory of change, and the development of a logical chain of results that differentiates between process characteristics and outcomes (Section 3.1). We then delve into the steps involved in designing effective monitoring and evaluation plans (Section 3.2). Next we outline the key features and conditions 80 needed for a successful process of co-production of monitoring and evaluation plans, involving a diversity of stakeholders, from a quintuple helix perspective (Section 3.3). Finally, we present three innovative tools oriented to enhancing reflexivity in impact assessment and NBS design and implementation, more generally; to support the development of tailored monitoring and evaluation plans for local NBS; and to gather user data with the support of automatized procedures and technological devices (Section 3.4). The chapter concludes by stressing the role of robust monitoring and evaluation in evidence-based policy-making, the creation of a culture of continuous evaluation, and in stakeholder and citizen education (Section 3.5).
Full-text available
The opportunities provided by adopting digitally-generated visual tools in urban participatory planning are compelling. These visual tools can promote interactions between authorities and citizens and among citizens. However, the urban participatory practices of these tools are often described from an academic perspective, which leads to a lack of knowledge from the practitioner's outlook. This study investigates practices of 3D visual tools in applied urban projects. The applied projects were recovered from media coverage. The objective is to describe participatory projects and their adopted 3D tools with a contextual and technical lens. The findings demonstrate that 3D visuals are mostly adopted for communication with a realistic representation and limited interaction in the later stage of the project where negotiation margins are insufficient at a small and medium urban scale. A better understanding of applied practices can help to introduce guidelines that support practitioners in designing approaches that benefit from the full potential of 3D visual tools.
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Citizen participation (CP) aims to reinforce citizens' involvement in decision-making processes concerning significant choices that will affect their communities. As information and communication technologies have been gradually adopted in CP processes, CP evolved to become e-participation. Among technologies that are relevant to citizen participation, [2] note that visualization tools are the key to effective participatory processes. In this paper we offer a better understanding of how geovisualization could enhance citizen participation, thanks to its potential to offer several benefits for a CP process in its different steps. The major contributions of this research are: (1) we outline the main steps of citizens in participatory processes based on a literature review; (2) we demonstrate how geovisualization has the potential to represent citizens’ living context through spatial, temporal and semantic dimensions. Thus, we offer a better understanding of geovisualization benefits for citizens in each step of the participatory processes. Eventually, the findings of this paper will be further tested through the implementation of a prototype participatory approach.
Full-text available
Web-based Public Participation Geographic Information Systems (PPGIS) are increasingly used for surveying place values and informing municipal planning in contexts of urban densification. However, research is lagging behind the rapid deployment of PPGIS applications. Some of the main opportunities and challenges for the uptake and implementation of web-based PPGIS are derived from a literature review and two case studies dealing with municipal planning for urban densification in the Stockholm region, Sweden. A simple clustering analysis identified three interconnected themes that together determine the performance of PPGIS: (i) tool design and affordances; (ii) organisational capacity; and (iii) governance. The results of the case studies augment existing literature regarding the connections between the different socio-technical dimensions for the design, implementation and evaluation of PPGIS applications in municipal planning. A cyborg approach to PPGIS is then proposed to improve the theoretical basis for addressing these dimensions together.
There is widespread concern that the growth of the Internet is exacerbating inequalities between the information rich and poor. Digital Divide examines access and use of the Internet in 179 nations world-wide. A global divide is evident between industrialized and developing societies. A social divide is apparent between rich and poor within each nation. Within the online community, evidence for a democratic divide is emerging between those who do and do not use Internet resources to engage and participate in public life. Part I outlines the theoretical debate between cyber-optimists who see the Internet as the great leveler. Part II examines the virtual political system and the way that representative institutions have responded to new opportunities on the Internet. Part III analyzes how the public has responded to these opportunities in Europe and the United States and develops the civic engagement model to explain patterns of participation via the Internet.
Examinations of civic engagement in digital culture―the technologies, designs, and practices that support connection through common purpose in civic, political, and social life. Countless people around the world harness the affordances of digital media to enable democratic participation, coordinate disaster relief, campaign for policy change, and strengthen local advocacy groups. The world watched as activists used social media to organize protests during the Arab Spring, Occupy Wall Street, and Hong Kong's Umbrella Revolution. Many governmental and community organizations changed their mission and function as they adopted new digital tools and practices. This book examines the use of “civic media”―the technologies, designs, and practices that support connection through common purpose in civic, political, and social life. Scholars from a range of disciplines and practitioners from a variety of organizations offer analyses and case studies that explore the theory and practice of civic media. The contributors set out the conceptual context for the intersection of civic and media; examine the pressure to innovate and the sustainability of innovation; explore play as a template for resistance; look at civic education; discuss media-enabled activism in communities; and consider methods and funding for civic media research. The case studies that round out each section range from a “debt resistance” movement to government service delivery ratings to the “It Gets Better” campaign aimed at combating suicide among lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer youth. The book offers a valuable interdisciplinary dialogue on the challenges and opportunities of the increasingly influential space of civic media.
In the field of urban planning, public participation and inclusion of citizens have been practised and researched for many years. However, a focus on co-creative urban planning practices seems to have gained more focus over the last decade and calls for new urban planning practices, which allow experimentation and imagination, and at the same time take its outset in the existing networks in the city (such as visions, strategies, regulations and practices) when planning for the future. In this article, we investigate how a compositionist design programme can be translated into the practices of urban planners. We find that the notion of ‘democratic design experiments’ in many ways meet the demands of the increasingly complex field of urban planning and set out to explore how such a design programme can be applied in practice. We suggest ‘navigational practice’ as a way of describing how urban planners deal with ‘drawing things together’ in urban space and introduce ‘sensitivity’, ‘staging’ and ‘mobilization’ as interconnected elements of this practice. We exemplify the significance of these navigational practices by analysing two democratic design experiments in the area of urban waste management in Copenhagen. The article concludes that compositionist design is a powerful contribution to the framing of urban planning projects and that navigational practice can be a productive way of operationalising democratic design experiments in the urban context.
The number of worldwide mobile device users is increasing rapidly, as are the number of applications to serve these devices. Urban planners have the opportunity to use a wide array of mobile applications to increase productivity, share information, and engage with the public. This chapter explores a number of mobile applications that can add value to the work that urban planners undertake. It also considers the types of applications that could be developed to assist planners in their efforts to understand cities and engage with the public.