Integrating Public Displays with Other Participation Methods (UbiPart Project)

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The emerging participative orientation of smart cities has lead to the implementation of various participation methods to include citizens in decision-making. They range from traditional such as workshops to innovative approaches supported by technology such as online platforms that allow citizens to submit ideas and vote for them with the expectation that the most popular ones will be implemented by the government. Recently, public displays (i.e. interfaces deployed in the public space to be accessible by any passerby) have been used as participation method. These devices possess qualities that are desirable in the context of citizen participation such as the ability to be interacted with by several citizens at a time, therefore fostering discussion, and their deployment in the urban space, thus being able to contextualize content that concerns its location. Furthermore, public displays are exempt from a limitation faced by the other participation methods. With these, citizens have to make a step forward to have the opportunity to participate (e.g. login to an online platform, attend a scheduled meeting), implying that it is challenging to attract citizens who are not already engaged in participation. On the contrary, citizens encounter public displays without explicitly looking for them, and can thus be offered a direct opportunity to participate. However, while comparing the advantages of participation methods is interesting, the reality is that citizen participation is implemented by several methods that need to be articulated together thoughtfully. While too many concurrent methods might overburden citizens and discourage them from participating altogether, combining methods can prove valuable. Such complementarity could consist in using the results of one method to fuel another (e.g. a civic hackathon fueled by citizens' input from an online platform and social media), or in alleviating the limitations of one method with another (e.g. complete a consultation on social media with a mail consultation to reach citizens who are not on social media). Therefore, when proposing a new participation method, it is essential to study how it can integrate efficiently with the others. In other terms, what are the synergies between this method and the others already put in place that can add value? This question remains unstudied for public displays, and is the focus of the UbiPart Project.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe 15th International Conference on Research Challenges in Information Science
Publication statusAccepted/In press - May 2021
EventInternational Conference on Research Challenges in Information Science -
Duration: 11 May 202114 May 2021
Conference number: 15


ConferenceInternational Conference on Research Challenges in Information Science
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