Green City Streets develops public participation tools using information technology. The project develops, tests and evaluates these tools, and publishes the results on its website. The website also serves as a clearing house for information on using apps, games and crowdsourcing tools for public participation.
The objective is to explore how new information technologies can be used to increase and/or to improve public participation in contemporary urban and transport planning. The focus is on new information technologies such as: social networking, on-line gaming, wikis and blogs. Assess how they can be used to improve public participation.
The project results are applied to the Ringstrasse in Vienna by the associated project "Ringstrasse 150". Creating a new Ringstrasse should be supported by a 21st Century public involvement process that uses applications and technology to help increase participation, generates innovative new ideas and provides political support from the community.
Develop and test a variety of information technology applications. Publicise results on:
- Well-designed games can help identify good ideas, solve problems, educate players and motivate them to act in the real world. And, importantly, games are extremely popular. Games can support development of communities to improve participation in planning projects as well as provide a platform for other web-based and real world participation such as crowd sourced mapping and problem identification, sharing technical information, GIS applications and more.
- Crowdsourcing is the process of getting work or funding, usually online, from a crowd of people. The word is a combination of the words 'crowd' and 'outsourcing'. The idea is to take work and outsource it to a crowd of workers. In city planning it’s often used to mean collecting input or suggestions.
- City planning is a complex and highly technical subject. That’s why it’s extremely important to help residents understand city planning problems and potential solutions. New information technologies including well designed websites, wikis, videos, podcasts, etc. are ideally suited to educating residents about problems.
- Social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. are excellent tools for engaging the public, providing information and encouraging participation and are widely used by all types of organisations. They have become standard in all types of city planning studies and by government agencies in communicating with their customers and constituents.
To foster public participation and community awareness in contemporary urban and transport planning tools the GreenCityStreets project has implemented games for Android and iOS SmartPhone platforms. Games can support development of communities to improve participation in planning projects as well as provide a platform for other web-based and real world participation such as crowd sourced mapping and problem identification, sharing technical information, GIS applications and more. Specific games developed are: a public transportation education game and a cycling engagement game,
The project website contains a suite of resources on crowdsourcing applications, a social media guide and an educational wiki and publications describing results. Thematic blogs and publications shall help users and policy makers to get into sustainable city and transport planning more easily.
The major advance promoted by the GreenCityStreets project constitutes the consequent use and merge of innovative new information technologies to develop tools for public participation.
Technologies and processes developed by Green City Streets can be applied and extended in future projects. The concepts on public participation and gamification assessed by the project help developers of tools and proedures to align their products closer to the needs of their customers, e.g. users and policy makers.
Information technology provides the ability to significantly improve the public participation process leading to better input, good ideas, political support for projects and increased engagement.