Information shapes urban spaces in ways that most people rarely stop to consider. From data-driven planning to grassroots activism to influencing the routes we walk, bike, and drive, new information technologies are helping city dwellers to leverage information in new ways. These technologies shape the uses and character of urban spaces. Information technologies and tools such as social media and GIS tracking applications are being used by individuals as they go about their daily lives, not as alternatives to social interaction, but as opportunities to participate in the shared experience of urban life.
This edited volume focuses on the creative application and management of information technologies in urban environments, with an emphasis on the intersection between citizen participation in creating city environments and the policy-making that supports it. The chapters address critical issues including the digital divide, transportation planning, use of public spaces, community building, and local events. This book was originally published as a special issue of the Journal of Urban Technology.
Table of Contents
Introduction – Urban Informatics: The Role of Citizen Participation in Policy Making Kristene Unsworth, Andrea Forte, and Richardson Dilworth
1. From Design Fiction to Design Friction: Speculative and Participatory Laura Forlano and Anijo Mathew
2. Technology-Enabled Participatory Platforms for Civic Engagement: The Case of U.S. Cities Kevin C. Desouza and Akshay Bhagwatwar
3. Potential and Challenges for Social media in the Neighbourhood Context Bonnie J. Johnson and Germaine R. Halegoua
4. The Digital Divide in Citizen-Initiated Government Contacts: A GIS Approach Sara Cavallo, Joann Lynch, and Peter Scull
5. Does Anything Ever Happen Around Here? Assessing the Online Information Landscape for Local Events Claudia López, Brian Butler, and Peter Brusilovsky
6. Goals, Challenges, and Capacity of Regional Data Portals in the United States: An Updated Understanding of Long-Standing Discussions Joanna P. Ganning, Sarah L. Coffin, Benjamin McCall, and Kathleen Carson
Kristene Unsworth is an Assistant Professor in the College of Computing and Informatics at Drexel University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. Her research, as well as her teaching, focuses on information policy and ethics.
Andrea Forte is an Assistant Professor in the College of Computing and Informatics at Drexel University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. She studies and designs technologies that support collaboration, cooperation, and learning in a variety of contexts.
Richardson Dilworth is an Associate Professor of Political Science, and Director of the Center for Public Policy, at Drexel University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. His research and teaching both focus on American urban political development, urban environment policy, and community economic development.