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A mobile app for citizen participation

Schröder, Carolin

Mobile apps for urban participation are a rather new development. The literature provides certain potentials of mobile apps in this context, as well of mobile participation (m-participation) in general. While developing a mobile app for the specific purpose of geo-referenced, instant polling in urban development contexts, the question rose: is m-participation different from e-participation or face-to-face participation? As there is not much empirical data available yet on m-participation, initial research focused on who are the users and how do they use mobile apps. As the urban development context emphasises the interaction between (public) institutions and civil society, it was of additional interest to learn not who are the civil society users – but also who are the people in public institutions that would use a mobile app? From an urban planning and participation research perspective, the paper addresses potentials and challenges of introducing smart phones and tablets. The preliminary findings from an ongoing research project that are presented in this article also raise the question to what extent findings from research on face-to-face participation are related to e-participation and mobile participation.
Published in: EGOSE 2014 : proceedings : International Conference Electronic Governance and Open Society: Challenges in Eurasia : St. Petersburg, Russia, 18-20 November 2014, 10.1145/2729104.2729137, Association for Computing Machinery